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

As a result, Rudd's mix of stumbles, silliness, and determination gels together in far more convincing fashion this time. Sam Machkovech And Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Films for the discerning nerd: Ars picks the best of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 She will always be fondly remembered for her perseverance and determination with a 'never give up' attitude. Hartford Courant,, "Ann Kelly," 14 July 2018 With much effort and determination, Moriah found the right medicines and learned to alleviate her symptoms with diet and exercise., "Philadelphia weddings: Moriah Benjoseph and Ben Nassau," 13 July 2018 That furor spurred the Texas native’s determination to explore first hand the cultural landscape in this region of the country. George Fishman, miamiherald, "Monarchs ‘Brown and Native’ butterfly exhibit a response to contemporary events," 13 July 2018 While determinations on an eighth season has yet to be made, production is casting and Miller is involved in the process, a rep for Lifetime confirms to PEOPLE. Christina Dugan,, "Abby Lee Miller Involved with Possible 8th Season of Dance Moms amid Cancer Battle," 12 July 2018 By contrast, three-quarters of upscale liberals say that hard work and determination do not guarantee success for most people. The Economist, "The L wordWho is a Democrat?," 12 July 2018 Despite this King’s gritty determination to live on, Ridge’s eyes betray what the King’s shambling, frequently collapsing body makes clear: the jig is up. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Love and death in Spring Green: 'The Recruiting Officer,' 'Exit the King'," 3 July 2018 The Arctic tested our patience, perseverance and determination. Holly Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "When the Brooks family ventured to the Brooks Range for a summer adventure, winter reared its head," 1 July 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

20 Feb 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
formal : the act of finding out or calculating something
formal : 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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