adjective de·ci·sive \ di-ˈsī-siv \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018

Definition of decisive

1 : having the power or quality of deciding
  • The council president cast the decisive vote.
  • a decisive battle
2 : resolute, determined
  • a decisive manner
  • decisive leaders
  • a decisive editor
3 : unmistakable, unquestionable
  • a decisive superiority





Examples of decisive in a Sentence

  1. You must be decisive and persistent to succeed in this competitive field.

  2. I stood there wondering what to do, but my sister was more decisive and immediately went to the phone.

  3. The fight ended with a decisive blow.

  4. the decisive battle of the war

  5. The poverty of his childhood played a decisive role in his adult life.

  6. The meeting is seen as a decisive step toward a peace treaty.

Recent Examples of decisive from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decisive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of decisive


in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Synonym Discussion of decisive

conclusive, decisive, determinative, definitive mean bringing to an end. conclusive applies to reasoning or logical proof that puts an end to debate or questioning.
    • conclusive evidence
decisive may apply to something that ends a controversy, a contest, or any uncertainty.
    • a decisive battle
determinative adds an implication of giving a fixed character or direction.
    • the determinative factor in the court's decision
definitive applies to what is put forth as final and permanent.
    • the definitive biography

DECISIVE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of decisive for English Language Learners

  • : able to make choices quickly and confidently

  • : causing something to end in a particular way : determining what the result of something will be

  • : very clear and obvious

DECISIVE Defined for Kids


adjective de·ci·sive \ di-ˈsī-siv \

Definition of decisive for Students

1 : causing something to end in a certain way
  • The lawyer offered decisive proof.
2 : unmistakable, unquestionable
  • a decisive victory
3 : firmly determined
  • He began in a decisive manner.



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a simultaneous discharge of guns

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