determine

verb
de·​ter·​mine | \ di-ˈtər-mən How to pronounce determine (audio) , dē-\
determined; determining

Definition of determine

transitive verb

1a : to fix conclusively or authoritatively determine national policy
b law : to decide by judicial sentence determine a plea
c : to settle or decide by choice of alternatives or possibilities trying to determine the best time to go
d : resolve she determined to do better
2a : to fix the form, position, or character of beforehand : ordain two points determine a straight line the extent to which genetics determines one's personality
b : to bring about as a result : regulate demand determines the price
3a : to fix the boundaries of
b : to limit in extent or scope
c : to put or set an end to : terminate determine an estate
4 : to find out or come to a decision about by investigation, reasoning, or calculation determine the answer to the problem determine a position at sea
5 biology : to bring about the determination (see determination sense 7) of determine the fate of a cell

intransitive verb

1 : to come to a decision had determined on becoming a doctor
2 : to come to an end or become void

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Choose the Right Synonym for determine

decide, determine, settle, rule, resolve mean to come or cause to come to a conclusion. decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy. she decided to sell her house determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something. determined the cause of the problem settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty. the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority. the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something. he resolved to quit smoking

discover, ascertain, determine, unearth, learn mean to find out what one did not previously know. discover may apply to something requiring exploration or investigation or to a chance encounter. discovered the source of the river ascertain implies effort to find the facts or the truth proceeding from awareness of ignorance or uncertainty. attempts to ascertain the population of the region determine emphasizes the intent to establish the facts definitely or precisely. unable to determine the origin of the word unearth implies bringing to light something forgotten or hidden. unearth old records learn may imply acquiring knowledge with little effort or conscious intention (as by simply being told) or it may imply study and practice. I learned her name only today learning Greek

Examples of determine in a Sentence

The new policy will be determined by a special committee. The demand for a product determines its price. He believes that one's personality is determined mostly by genetics. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. They are unable to accurately determine the ship's position at this time. Scholars have determined that the book was written in the late 16th century. I am trying to determine what happened and when. They are determining if they should stay. They determined to leave immediately.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The measure is used to determine financial eligibility for federal programs such as the school lunch program and Head Start, and the size of premium tax credits on the Affordable Care Act... Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Trump Considers Poverty-Gauge Change That Could Trim Rolls on Aid Programs," 7 May 2019 Simpson discovered an instruction sheet from AT&T—not used at the original trial—which stated that incoming calls cannot be reliably used to determine location. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of The Case Against Adnan Syed," 31 Mar. 2019 The junior from Toyama, Japan, will use the same timeline to decision-making process to determine his own future. Theo Lawson, The Seattle Times, "Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke mum about future following NCAA tournament exit," 30 Mar. 2019 Einstein Moving Company in Austin, Texas, recommends an easy formula that can determine your specific golden number. Tess Kornfeld, Glamour, "How Much Should You Be Tipping Your Movers?," 12 Dec. 2018 The only time the 1961 Convention rules comes into play is on the rare occasion when the child would otherwise be stateless; in that case, the airline’s country of origin will determine the passport. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Happens to Babies Born on Planes," 26 Oct. 2018 Trump's signature avoids a shutdown before the Nov. 6 elections that will determine control of Congress. Fox News, "Trump signs spending plan, avoiding shutdown," 28 Sep. 2018 Though the exact terms couldn’t be determined, the deal, which could be announced as soon as this week, would involve a mixture of cash and stock for Ingersoll shareholders, the people said. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, "Gardner Denver Nears Deal to Merge With Ingersoll-Rand Division," 28 Apr. 2019 The station reports that structural engineers are determining the best way to deconstruct the home and remove the remains. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "These Images of a Tree Falling on a Kentucky Cabin Are Terrifying," 19 Apr. 2019

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

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

History and Etymology for determine

Middle English, from Anglo-French determiner, from Latin determinare, from de- + terminare to limit, from terminus boundary, limit — more at term entry 1

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Statistics for determine

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for determine

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

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More Definitions for determine

determine

verb

English Language Learners Definition of determine

: to officially decide (something) especially because of evidence or facts : to establish (something) exactly or with authority
: to be the cause of or reason for (something)
: to learn or find out (something) by getting information

determine

verb
de·​ter·​mine | \ di-ˈtər-mən How to pronounce determine (audio) \
determined; determining

Kids Definition of determine

1 : to come to a decision They determined to leave immediately.
2 : to learn or find out exactly Police determined the cause of the accident.
3 : to be the cause of or reason for Demand determines the price of a product.
4 : to fix exactly and with certainty Yes, it was settled; his career was determined.— Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer

determine

transitive verb
de·​ter·​mine | \ di-ˈtər-mən How to pronounce determine (audio) \
determined; determining\ -​ˈtərm-​(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce determining (audio) \

Medical Definition of determine

1a : to obtain definite information about with regard to quantity, character, magnitude, or location determine the ionic concentration determine the creatinine in blood serum
b : to discover the taxonomic position or the generic and specific names of
2 : to bring about the determination of determine the fate of a cell

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determine

transitive verb
de·​ter·​mine
determined; determining

Legal Definition of determine

: to make a determination regarding

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Comments on determine

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