de·​ci·​sive | \ di-ˈsī-siv How to pronounce decisive (audio) \

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

Other Words from decisive

decisively adverb
decisiveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of decisive in a Sentence

You must be decisive and persistent to succeed in this competitive field. I stood there wondering what to do, but my sister was more decisive and immediately went to the phone. The fight ended with a decisive blow. the decisive battle of the war The poverty of his childhood played a decisive role in his adult life. The meeting is seen as a decisive step toward a peace treaty. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Other forces—tanks, infantry, engineers—exist to position and protect the guns, which deliver the decisive firepower. David Axe, Forbes, 7 May 2022 Turner not only hit a two-run homer in the decisive first, but made three inning-ending diving catches in center field. Creg Stephenson |, al, 6 May 2022 Roughly one month after the union victory at JFK8, Amazon workers at a smaller facility nearby voted against unionizing by a decisive margin. New York Times, 6 May 2022 As Toro y Moi, Bear has crafted decisive chillwave and synth-funk tunes from his current home in the Bay Area. Grace Ann Natanawan, SPIN, 6 May 2022 Ukraine has urged the West to ramp up the supply of weapons ahead of that potentially decisive clash. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 5 May 2022 Then his opinion takes particular aim at Roe’s core holding, that fetal viability—the ability to survive outside the womb, currently at about the 23rd week of pregnancy—is the decisive boundary, only after which states can proscribe abortions. David J. Garrow, WSJ, 4 May 2022 Miami attacked every loose rebound with multiple players, finishing the game with a decisive 47-37 rebounding edge. Xl Media, cleveland, 4 May 2022 Ukraine has urged the West to ramp up the supply of weapons ahead of that potentially decisive clash. Jon Gambrell And Cara Anna, Chicago Tribune, 4 May 2022 See More

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

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About decisive

Time Traveler for decisive

Time Traveler

The first known use of decisive was in 1584

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near decisive

decision tree


decisive action

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for decisive

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Decisive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for decisive


de·​ci·​sive | \ di-ˈsī-siv How to pronounce decisive (audio) \

Kids Definition of decisive

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.

Other Words from decisive

decisively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on decisive

Nglish: Translation of decisive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decisive for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!