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 The war with the Marcher Lords ended in a decisive victory for Edward at the Battle of Boroughbridge. Anne Thériault, Longreads, 21 June 2022 The Battle of Midway ended four days later in a decisive victory for U.S. naval forces. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 June 2022 Central Catholic used its depth and two victorious relays to score a decisive victory for the boys team title. oregonlive, 21 May 2022 But recent decisions in Washington, London and Frankfurt mark a decisive shift in the global economic climate. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 In Moscow, the shuttering of McDonald's and other Western companies signaled a decisive shift, according to Andrei Kolesnikov. Richard Galant, CNN, 13 Mar. 2022 The Fed’s final meeting of the year completed its decisive shift away from providing full-blast support to the economy and toward guarding against the risk of rapid and lasting inflation. New York Times, 15 Dec. 2021 That ability to work in lockstep proved decisive for Watergate, offering the most stunning unanticipated revelation in the past 50 years. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 9 June 2022 The public vote from home, via text message or the Eurovision app, proved decisive, lifting them above British TikTok star Sam Ryder, who led after the national juries in 40 countries cast their votes. Colleen Barry And Paolo Santalucia,, 16 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

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Time Traveler for decisive

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The first known use of decisive was in 1584

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Dictionary Entries Near decisive

decision tree


decisive action

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Decisive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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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


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