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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Perhaps the biggest determinant in Glassman’s enviably organized collection of clothes is his rational, levelheaded approach to fashion. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Oprah's Style Guru Adam Glassman Has Closets of Your Dreams," 16 Apr. 2019 Communities that otherwise score high on social determinants like clean air, good schools, and walkability are suffering from this epidemic. Garth Graham, Fortune, "Aetna Foundation President: Here’s What It Will Take to Solve the Opioid Crisis," 28 June 2018 Despite these alarming statistics, there still isn’t enough focus regionally or nationally to combat these social determinants of health. Anthony V. Coletta, Md, Mba,, "To improve Philly's healthcare system, first focus on poverty," 3 May 2018 More on the Economy Productivity is a key determinant of an economy’s long-term health and prosperity, and productivity gains are important to companies’ profit margins. Eric Morath, WSJ, "U.S. Worker Productivity Rose in Spring at Best Pace Since 2015," 6 Sep. 2018 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

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

Statistics for determinant

Last Updated

13 May 2019

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

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
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!