de·​ter·​mi·​nant di-ˈtər-mə-nənt How to pronounce determinant (audio)
: an element that identifies or determines the nature of something or that fixes or conditions an outcome
education level as a determinant of income
mathematics : a square array of numbers bordered on the left and right by a vertical line and having a value equal to the algebraic sum of all possible products where the number of factors in each product is the same as the number of rows or columns, each factor in a given product is taken from a different row and column, and the sign of a product is positive or negative depending upon whether the number of permutations necessary to place the indices representing each factor's position in its row or column in the order of the natural numbers is odd or even
genetics : gene
the determinant of the sickle-cell trait
biology : epitope
determinantal adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the Progressive Era, there’s a focus on class as the central determinant of American history. Jack Mccordick, The New Republic, 4 Nov. 2022 These same towns were bereft of green parks and open spaces, a common determinant of public health. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, 10 Nov. 2022 And the financial aspect of retirement is obviously a big determinant of happiness. Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2022 While personality may be one determinant of our musical preferences, another could be the context. Nayantara Dutta, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Sep. 2022 In a state of constant surveillance and an absence of privacy regulation, legality is not the determinant of harm. WIRED, 2 Sep. 2022 The generation, use and control of data will be a significant determinant of future economies. World Economic Forum, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 The divisions deepen a sense of disconnect between those more hawkish pro-Ukraine EU nations nearer Ukraine and those farther away, although geographical proximity is far from the only determinant of countries’ attitudes toward the war. Matina Stevis-gridneff,, 18 Oct. 2022 The correlation makes violent crime an important social determinant of health. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History


see determine

First Known Use

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of determinant was in 1686

Dictionary Entries Near determinant

Cite this Entry

“Determinant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



de·​ter·​mi·​nant di-ˈtərm-(ə-)nənt How to pronounce determinant (audio)
: something that determines or influences

Medical Definition



de·​ter·​mi·​nant di-ˈtərm-(ə-)nənt How to pronounce determinant (audio)
: a hypothetical aggregate of biophores conceived as comparable to the gene of more recent biological theory
: gene
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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