de·​ter·​mi·​na·​tive | \ di-ˈtər-mə-ˌnā-tiv How to pronounce determinative (audio) , -ˈtər-mə-nə-\

Definition of determinative

: having power or tendency to determine : tending to fix, settle, or define something regard experiments as determinative of the principles from which deductions could be made— S. F. Mason

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Other Words from determinative

determinative noun

Choose the Right Synonym for determinative

conclusive, decisive, determinative, definitive mean bringing to an end. conclusive applies to reasoning or logical proof that puts an end to debate or questioning. conclusive evidence decisive may apply to something that ends a controversy, a contest, or any uncertainty. a decisive battle determinative adds an implication of giving a fixed character or direction. the determinative factor in the court's decision definitive applies to what is put forth as final and permanent. the definitive biography

Examples of determinative in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Their theory was that nurture (education, socialization, family structure) matters little because nature is determinative. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Last century’s immigration debate makes today’s seem enlightened," 30 June 2019 Their theory was that nurture (education, socialization, family structure) matters little because nature is determinative. George F. Will, The Denver Post, "George Will: Last century’s immigration debate makes today’s seem enlightened," 30 June 2019 But bad sportsmanship is too subjective a concept on which to base a potentially outcome-determinative penalty such as the loss of a game in a tennis match. Alan M. Dershowitz, WSJ, "Bad Sports Don’t Deserve to Lose," 13 Sep. 2018 But few issues are as polarizing or as determinative for many voters. John Baer,, "Casey's opposition to Trump SCOTUS pick raises questions about Casey's abortion stance | John Baer," 10 July 2018 Under Senate rules, a member who is not present cannot cast the determinative vote. Daniella Diaz, CNN, "McConnell takes administrative step to advance vote for Pompeo, Grenell," 24 Apr. 2018 That delay is often determinative simply through inaction, or renders the matter moot. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Five months later, no ruling from state appeals court on San Onofre emails," 27 Apr. 2018 Whether Trump expects to see it in there — or would sign something without it — is vitally important, if not determinative. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Trump gave two contradictory answers in a span of 5 seconds," 10 Jan. 2018 The process wasn’t determinative — clearly, since Porter (and many others) remained in their positions despite having failed to get clearance approval. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Has Trump actually fired anyone as president?," 19 Mar. 2018

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

1655, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for determinative

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for determinative

The first known use of determinative was in 1655

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More Definitions for determinative


de·​ter·​mi·​na·​tive | \ di-ˈtər-mə-ˌnā-tiv, -nə-tiv How to pronounce determinative (audio) \

Legal Definition of determinative

: having the power or tendency to determine a fact determinative of the issue

More from Merriam-Webster on determinative

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with determinative Encyclopedia article about determinative

Comments on determinative

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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