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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Investigators are still working to determine if the man is a suspect in the killing of Kamily Patterson, a 2-year-old girl shot late Sunday on West 21st Street near Reeves Avenue in Lorain, Sivert said. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Person of interest in Lorain shooting that killed 2-year-old girl, hurt two others arrested after police chase," 13 July 2020 On the ice, four bye teams will play a round robin to determine seeding at the top of each conference, while the remaining eight teams per conference will play a best-of-five series. Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, "Inside NHL return: How league plans to decide Stanley Cup champion amid pandemic," 12 July 2020 That made the calculus clearer — but doctors still worried that using last week’s numbers to determine this week’s delivery, rather than a predictive model, might create a lag in places where the case count was burgeoning. Eric Boodman, STAT, "From Houston to Miami, hospitals running short of remdesivir for Covid-19 patients," 10 July 2020 The federal government in Mexico City will determine when to reopen them. Rafael Carranza, The Arizona Republic, "Deal reached to allow Arizona visitors to Puerto Peñasco after border residents block highway," 9 July 2020 Conservationists have also criticized the local government for not working quickly to determine a cause of death. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Hundreds of Elephants Have Died in Botswana — and Officials Don't Know Why," 9 July 2020 Homicide detectives are working to determine what led to the death of a man who was found shot inside a hotel near Hobby Airport early Wednesday morning. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Man found shot dead in hotel near Hobby Airport," 8 July 2020 Investigators from both Suffolk County Police Department and West Haven Police Department are working with a medical examiner to determine Gil’s cause and manner of death. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, "Body of missing Connecticut school teacher Gil Cunha who thought he had coronavirus found in waters off Long Island," 8 July 2020 Factors such as energy use, water use and even the eating habits of people in the household are quantified and used to determine a home's carbon footprint, using a calculator developed by the University of California, Berkeley. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "New Indianapolis nonprofit helps Hoosiers turn their homes carbon neutral," 18 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about determine

Time Traveler for determine

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for determine

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Determine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/determine. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for determine

determine

verb
How to pronounce determine (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

determine

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

Legal Definition of determine

: to make a determination regarding

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on determine

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!