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

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 In Season 2, Betty deployed the same determination to find her half-brother, Chic... who turned out to be a total fake, but still. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "Lili Reinhart's Best 9 Moments as Betty Cooper on Riverdale," 13 Sep. 2018 But the film never feels like it’s built around a concept, so much as around emotions: fear, anger, helplessness, and eventually, raw determination. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "What Keeps You Alive shows the importance of art in horror films," 24 Aug. 2018 As such, Aries symbolizes courage, determination, and action. Allure, "How the Sun's Position In Your Birth Chart Affects Your Zodiac Sign," 14 Aug. 2018 The lawsuit alleges that neither the girl or her sister have received any written determinations, have not been provided legal counsel, and indicated that there was no way to appeal the requirements. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Lawsuit alleges over-medication, mistreatment of detained minors," 29 June 2018 The state Department of Labor & Industries makes the final determination on cases appealed by Hanford workers. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Justice Department sues Washington state over law to compensate sick Hanford workers," 11 Dec. 2018 The determination was made based on Nielsen data for dollar and unit sales in major retailers ranging from February 2017 to February 2018. Marci Robin, Allure, "Maybelline New York's Instant Age Rewind Is America's Most Popular Concealer — and It's Just $10," 24 July 2018 No determination has been made on the cause of their deaths or on the cause of the fire. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Couple was strangled before Atlanta home fire, police say," 3 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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Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for determination

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

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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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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