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

What all of these ‘underdog’ victories have in common is the combatting of technical superiority, elite quality and star personnel with industry, determination, physical and mental resolve and an uncompromising work ethic., "Quality vs Fire: Why Uruguay's Clash With France Could Indicate How the World Cup Will Be Won," 4 July 2018 For her and others who have already been publicly reunified, the pursuit has become a haphazard combination of determination, litigation and hope. Nick Oza, azcentral, "A Guatemalan mother is driving from the border to New York to find her separated children," 1 July 2018 Local coverage determinations set Medicare coverage for a particular service in a specific geographical region. Scott Whitaker, STAT, "It’s time to reform the process for determining what Medicare covers," 27 June 2018 The final determination on the potential pursuit of Heimlich, who as a 15-year-old in 2012 pleaded guilty to a felony charge of molesting his 6-year-old niece, will fall to Moore and his front office. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Yost leaves Royals' decision on Heimlich to GM but says ‘I believe in second chances’," 25 June 2018 While the Dad Coach, rarely seen smiling, projects determination, the Dad Fan is defined by his role as emotional supporter, not as tactician and driving force. Mari Uyehara, GQ, "How Title IX Gave Rise to the Dad Fan," 11 June 2018 So there's an attempt at that point to try to get some determination, some identification. CBS News, "The search for a missing military wife takes NCIS agents into a dark world," 5 June 2018 The issue again raises the question of whether Trump's determination to stiffen immigration laws conflicts with the nation's fundamental values -- and a wider humanitarian duty to protect children. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump whips up immigration storm over children," 29 May 2018 The result is a tapestry of determination, hard work and hope. Donna Vickroy And Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Class of 2018: A look at some of the Southland's extraordinary high school graduates," 19 May 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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Statistics for determination

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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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the setting in which something occurs

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