de·​ter·​mi·​nant | \di-ˈtər-mə-nənt \

Definition of determinant 

1 : an element that identifies or determines the nature of something or that fixes or conditions an outcome education level as a determinant of income

2 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

3 genetics : gene the determinant of the sickle-cell trait

4 biology : epitope

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from determinant

determinantal \-​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈnan-​tᵊl \ adjective

Examples of determinant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The biggest determinant of success may have to do with a much more prosaic factor: money. Tamar Haspel, Vox, "Lab-grown meat and the fight over what it can be called, explained," 31 Aug. 2018 Non-monetary working conditions are also important determinants of job satisfaction. Robert H. Frank, New York Times, "Would a Single-Payer System Require Painful Sacrifices From Doctors?," 8 June 2018 That’s because loneliness is also increasingly being thought of as a social determinant of health that is linked to physical- and mental-health conditions and even early death. Ranit Mishori, Washington Post, "To push patients to be healthier, some doctors write exercise prescriptions," 10 Mar. 2018 Health will likely be the biggest determinant in the success of the Mets this season. James Wagner, New York Times, "Hold On, the Mets Are 8-1?," 9 Apr. 2018 Race, profession, geographical and socio-economic situation are not determinants of the disease. Denise C. Park,, "5 myths about Alzheimer's disease," 18 June 2018 Automobile makers, for instance, rely on supply chains that extend into Mexico and Canada, making tariffs an important determinant of how investors value government-bond interest rates. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "U.S. Government Bonds Rally on Tariff Fight," 15 June 2018 Committing to innovating around the idea of managing social determinants of health, such as where people live, their socioeconomic background, and the like, is essential for health care companies in the future. Peter Miller, STAT, "How early retail health clinics set the stage for today’s mega-mergers," 11 June 2018 Addressing these social determinants, studies have shown, may, in fact, be more effective in managing chronic conditions and prolonging life than medications and other clinical interventions. Ranit Mishori, Washington Post, "To push patients to be healthier, some doctors write exercise prescriptions," 10 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of determinant

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for determinant

see determine

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about determinant

Share determinant

Statistics for determinant

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for determinant

The first known use of determinant was in 1686

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for determinant



English Language Learners Definition of determinant

: a thing that controls or influences what happens


de·​ter·​mi·​nant | \di-ˈtərm-(ə-)nənt \

Medical Definition of determinant 

1a : a hypothetical aggregate of biophores conceived as comparable to the gene of more recent biological theory

b : gene

2 : epitope

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on determinant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with determinant

Spanish Central: Translation of determinant

Nglish: Translation of determinant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of determinant for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about determinant

Comments on determinant

What made you want to look up determinant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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