determinate

adjective

de·​ter·​mi·​nate di-ˈtər-mə-nət How to pronounce determinate (audio)
1
: having defined limits
a determinate period of time
2
: definitely settled
a determinate order of precedence
3
: conclusively determined : definitive
a determinate answer
4
botany : characterized by sequential flowering from the central or uppermost bud to the lateral or basal (see basal sense 1b) buds
also : characterized by growth in which the main stem ends in an inflorescence and stops growing with only branches from the main stem having further and similarly restricted growth
determinate tomato plants
compare indeterminate sense 4
5
biology : relating to, being, or undergoing egg cleavage (see cleavage sense 3) in which each division irreversibly separates portions of the zygote with specific potencies for further development
determinately adverb
determinateness noun

Examples of determinate in a Sentence

a determinate period of time a determinate order of succession to the throne
Recent Examples on the Web The pruning time for determinate tomatoes is simply shorter than indeterminate varieties that produce new leaves and fruit for several months. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Apr. 2023 For Preciado, the novel and its central character exemplify a crucial idea—that Orlando isn’t a man who becomes a woman, but, rather, a person whose very identity is transition itself, who is a living challenge to the notion of determinate gender. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 10 Nov. 2023 All fruit on a determinate tomato plant ripens within about 4 to 6 weeks. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Apr. 2023 Use a determinate or semi-determinate variety such as Tycoon, Red Snapper, Celebrity, HM 8849, BHN 968, Ruby Crush, Phoenix or Valley Cat. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, 9 July 2020 Consider stacking two ladders for smaller determinate tomatoes, or stack three for large, indeterminate tomato varieties, which like to scramble up to great heights. Renee Freemon Mulvihill, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Mar. 2023 Some types of tomatoes—determinate varieties—have more bushy growth, while indeterminate varieties can grow much taller and need either tall cages or a trellis system. Renee Freemon Mulvihill, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Mar. 2023 Second, explanations should be determinate, meaning that there is one set explanation that accounts for all or most of something. Joseph Franklin, Scientific American, 11 June 2018 Florida Weave Used commercially for determinate varieties, this training technique supports tomatoes with twine woven horizontally between rows of stakes. Doug Hall, Good Housekeeping, 19 July 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'determinate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Latin determinatus, past participle of determinare — see determine

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of determinate was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near determinate

Cite this Entry

“Determinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/determinate. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

determinate

adjective
de·​ter·​mi·​nate di-ˈtərm-(ə-)nət How to pronounce determinate (audio)
1
: having fixed limits : definite
a determinate period of time
2
: definitely settled
arranged in a determinate order
determinately adverb
determinateness noun

Medical Definition

determinate

adjective
de·​ter·​mi·​nate di-ˈtərm-(ə-)nət How to pronounce determinate (audio)
: relating to, being, or undergoing determinate cleavage
a determinate egg

More from Merriam-Webster on determinate

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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