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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web With the help of Gary Kubiak’s outside zone running scheme, Cook gashed teams by getting to the edge and making decisive one-cut reads. cleveland, "How new head coach Kevin Stefanski might fix the Cleveland Browns’ offense -- Film review," 13 Jan. 2020 Boston University’s women got back on track with a decisive 72-66 road victory over Army. Name Goeshere,, "Serena Williams gets her first tournament win in nearly three years," 12 Jan. 2020 That is- that sounds more like an assessment than a specific, tangible threat with a- a decisive piece of intelligence. CBS News, "Transcript: Defense Secretary Mark Esper on "Face the Nation," January 12, 2020," 12 Jan. 2020 The 32-year-old led Serbia to the title in Sydney, Australia -- first by beating old adversary Rafael Nadal and then returning to mop up the decisive doubles alongside Victor Troicki. Sarah Holt, CNN, "Novak Djokovic leads Serbia to title at first-ever ATP Cup," 12 Jan. 2020 Outrage over last week’s killing fueled a nonbinding vote Sunday in Iraq’s parliament to expel U.S. forces, putting further pressure on the Baghdad government to take more decisive steps to constrain or eliminate the U.S. military presence. ... Michael R. Gordon And Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "Backlash in Iraq Poses Risks to U.S.-Led Operations Against Islamic State," 6 Jan. 2020 And there was the onside kick Tennessee surprised the Hoosiers with between the Vols’ decisive touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "'Why not us?' How does Indiana football outrun its history after Gator Bowl letdown?," 3 Jan. 2020 Being very decisive in his decision-making, finishing off runs. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s J.K. Dobbins breaks Eddie George’s single-season rushing record in explosive first quarter at Fiesta Bowl," 29 Dec. 2019 His 27 points against Brooklyn — which included 10 during a third quarter that turned out to be decisive — helped the Spurs rally from a 14-point deficit to claim their second-most lopsided victory of the season. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Patty Mills has been the Spurs’ cheerleader and lifesaver," 20 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of decisive

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for decisive

Time Traveler

The first known use of decisive was in 1584

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decisive.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for decisive


How to pronounce decisive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of decisive

: 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


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

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