de·​ter·​mi·​na·​tion | \ di-ˌtər-mə-ˈnā-shən \

Definition of determination

1a law : a judicial decision settling and ending a controversy the court's determination in that case documents that will be used for the determination of ownership judicial determinations
b : the resolving of a question by argument or reasoning Inspectors made the determination that the building is unsafe.
2 archaic : termination
3a : the act of deciding definitely and firmly also : the result of such an act of decision
b : firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end a woman of great courage and determination fierce determination to succeed
4 : a fixing or finding of the position, magnitude, value, or character of something: such as
a : the act, process, or result of an accurate measurement more precise determination of the size of the tumor
b biology : an identification of the taxonomic position of a plant or animal

5 philosophy

a : the definition of a concept in logic by its essential constituents (see constituent entry 1 sense 2)
b : the addition of a differentia to a concept to limit its denotation
6 : direction or tendency to a certain end : impulsion
7 biology : the fixation of the destiny of undifferentiated embryonic tissue

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Examples of determination in a Sentence

What he lacked in talent he made up for in determination. The new instruments allow for more precise determination of the size of the tumor. The document will be used for determination of ownership.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Researchers used perhaps the most famous cave paintings in the world to help make their determination—the Paleolithic art inside the caves of Lascaux in Southern France. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Cave Paintings Suggest Ancient Humans Understood the Stars Much Better Than We Thought," 29 Nov. 2018 Based on my business determinations, the [Company] abandoned the [Moscow Project] proposal. . Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Read the plea documents from Michael Cohen," 29 Nov. 2018 This decision is based on our determination that Cambridge Analytica operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Cambridge Analytica shutting down, company says," 2 Oct. 2018 Elaine is a woman wholly in control of her body and her actions, and her hilarious determination to find her own happily-ever-after reminds us of the unfair expectations surrounding gender and romance. Kate Robertson, Marie Claire, "13 Feminist Horror Movies That Will Make You Appreciate the Genre in a Whole New Way," 18 July 2018 New Barcelona midfielder Arthur has spoken of his determination to 'make history' at Camp Nou as he was presented a Barça player for the first time following his much talked about €30m move from Brazilian club Gremio., "Arthur Eager to 'Make History' for Barcelona After Early Xavi & Andres Iniesta Comparisons," 12 July 2018 Yet Putin has made clear over and over his determination to undermine Western democracies. Trudy Rubin,, "Trump does Putin's dirty work at NATO summit | Trudy Rubin," 11 July 2018 Their determination is captured in a 17-minute documentary, Awakening: After Parkland, premiering Monday on and excerpted exclusively above. Jeff Truesdell,, "Parkland Shooting Survivors Find Inspiration, Purpose in Staging Timely Musical Born of Teenage Pain," 29 June 2018 In the other scenarios, the hearing officer or judge makes the personal-liability determination, after which lawmakers must reimburse the Treasury for compensatory damages up to $300,000. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Sexual Harassment on the Hill," 28 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'determination.' 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 determination

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for determination

see determine

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Last Updated

23 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for determination

The first known use of determination was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for determination



English Language Learners Definition of determination

: a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult

: the act of finding out or calculating something

: the act of officially deciding something


de·​ter·​mi·​na·​tion | \ di-ˌtər-mə-ˈnā-shən \

Kids Definition of determination

1 : firm or fixed intention She set out with determination to complete the journey.
2 : an act of deciding or the decision reached Has the jury made a determination?
3 : an act of making sure of the position, size, or nature of something a determination of location


de·​ter·​mi·​na·​tion | \ di-ˌtər-mə-ˈnā-shən \

Medical Definition of determination

1 : a fixing or finding of the position, magnitude, quantity, value, or character of something: as
a : the act, process, or result of an accurate measurement
b : an identification of the taxonomic position of a plant or animal
2 : the fixation of the destiny of undifferentiated embryonic tissue — compare differentiation sense 2b

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Legal Definition of determination

: a decision of a court or administrative agency regarding an issue, case, or claim

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Comments on determination

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


a complex dispute or argument

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