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

Hunger said the intent focus on individual control over weight glosses over the complex genetic, biological, and social determinants of health. Carrie Dennett, Washington Post, "The many reasons a British writer was wrong to disparage Nike’s plus-size mannequins," 17 July 2019 Becker says science still has an incomplete understanding of how social norms, food insecurity and social determinants of poor health affect vulnerability to the disorder. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Anorexia May Be Linked to Metabolism, a Genetic Analysis Suggests," 15 July 2019 The alliance says that the social determinants of health are affected by policies, economics, and social hierarchies. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "We Asked All 2020 Presidential Candidates Their Plans to Address the Black Maternal Mortality Crisis," 30 July 2019 These embody useful insights about the economic, social and cultural determinants of addiction. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Drug addictions sap economy but vary regionally," 21 July 2019 My takeaway after reading it: your zip code may be the most important determinant of your economic future. David Meyer, Fortune, "Your Zip Code May Determine Your Economic Future: CEO Daily," 11 July 2019 Age and income are also determinants of who stays home. Chayenne Polimedio, Vox, "Is voting a civic right or a civic duty?," 6 Nov. 2018 At Rush University Medical Center, Kumar is researching social determinants in health care, including homelessness and poverty in relation to chronic conditions. Taylor Hartz,, "Skokie native awarded prestigious Goldwater Scholarship," 1 July 2019 Pride is one small way to foster a sense of belonging and social support, which is a key determinant of health. Cory Stieg,, "How To Celebrate Pride In A Place Where You Can't," 20 June 2019

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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Statistics for determinant

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for determinant

The first known use of determinant was in 1686

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More Definitions for determinant



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
2 : epitope

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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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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