de·​ter·​mi·​nant | \ di-ˈtər-mə-nənt How to pronounce determinant (audio) \

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

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Other Words from determinant

determinantal \ di-​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈnan-​tᵊl How to pronounce determinantal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of determinant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Our determinant of success is to reform the way capitalism is practiced, certainly in this country. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Eric Ries is on an all-or-nothing mission to reform capitalism," 9 Sep. 2020 The company also gave an outlook for its gain-on-sale margin, a determinant of revenue, to moderate from 5.19% in the second quarter to under 4.3% in the third. Telis Demos, WSJ, "Is Rocket a Tech Stock or Boring Lender?," 3 Sep. 2020 But the biggest determinant of success is acting quickly, Kara said. Fortune, "Plasma helps COVID-19 if used early, but it’s no game-changer, says Turkey," 25 Aug. 2020 Age is probably the single biggest determinant of how sick someone gets from the coronavirus. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "Why Some People Get Terribly Sick from COVID-19," 20 Aug. 2020 At the elite Stuyvesant magnet high school in New York City, for example, diversity proponents want to change a system whose sole determinant of admission is a standardized test. Matthew Barakat, Star Tribune, "Elite public schools in Virginia, elsewhere seek diversity," 11 Aug. 2020 If the administration decides data is the key determinant, then even some of the world’s most popular games may get ensnared., "Trump’s TikTok Assault Opens New Front in Tech War With China," 3 Aug. 2020 The gaokao is the key determinant for college entry in China, unlike in the United States, where other factors like extracurricular activities and personal essays carry significant weight. Eva Dou, Washington Post, "In flooded China town, students cling to tractors to get to college entrance exam," 8 July 2020 There are more obvious determinants of who suffers from severe disease. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "Paging Dr. Hamblin: Does Vitamin D Help Fight COVID-19?," 3 June 2020

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.

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First Known Use of determinant

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for determinant

see determine

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Time Traveler for determinant

Time Traveler

The first known use of determinant was in 1686

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Statistics for determinant

Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Determinant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for determinant


How to pronounce determinant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of determinant

formal : a thing that controls or influences what happens


de·​ter·​mi·​nant | \ di-ˈtərm-(ə-)nənt How to pronounce determinant (audio) \

Medical Definition of determinant

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

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