decisive

adjective

de·​ci·​sive di-ˈsī-siv How to pronounce decisive (audio)
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
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.
Recent Examples on the Web The Oscars come too late to be a decisive factor, but were a nice bonus. Patrick Frater, Variety, 11 Apr. 2024 And the Senate battle shaping up between Lake, an ardent Trump ally, and Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, could be decisive to the balance of power in Congress. Nik Popli, TIME, 10 Apr. 2024 Biden only narrowly defeated rival Donald Trump in 2020, despite winning the popular vote by nearly 5 points -- and their rematch is expected to be similarly close, likely coming down to thin margins in a handful of states in which any movement among voting groups could be decisive. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 10 Apr. 2024 Monterrey is seeking sanctions against the team and the players involved and would like a resolution before the second and decisive leg of the two-game series April 10 in Monterrey. Michelle Kaufman, Miami Herald, 7 Apr. 2024 But that assault failed to make significant gains, and the new weapons did not prove decisive. Isabelle Khurshudyan, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2024 Among all of its gruesome set pieces, culminating in Room 101 in the Ministry of Love, the novel’s most decisive act of torment is a simple glance in the mirror. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, 5 Apr. 2024 While there is an enormous commercial market opportunity in commercial reusable hypersonics, the military advantage in flying faster has always been decisive. Sassie Duggleby, Fortune, 15 Mar. 2024 A number of factors can play a decisive role in some couples' inability to conceive, which may lead them to turn to fertility treatments like IVF or IUI. Daryl Austin, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decisive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French decisif, borrowed from Medieval Latin dēcīsīvus, from Latin dēcīsus, past participle of dēcīdere "to cut off, cut out, mark by cutting, settle, choose as a course of action" + -īvus -ive — more at decide

First Known Use

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of decisive was in 1584

Dictionary Entries Near decisive

Cite this Entry

“Decisive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decisive. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

decisive

adjective
de·​ci·​sive di-ˈsī-siv How to pronounce decisive (audio)
1
: having the power to decide
the decisive vote
2
: unmistakable, unquestionable
a decisive victory
3
: marked by or showing decision
a decisive manner
decisively adverb
decisiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on decisive

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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