determinism

noun
de·​ter·​min·​ism | \ di-ˈtər-mə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce determinism (audio) , dē- \

Definition of determinism

1 philosophy
a : a theory or doctrine that acts of the will (see will entry 2 sense 4a), occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws
b : a belief in predestination
2 : the quality or state of being determined

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Other Words from determinism

determinist \ di-​ˈtər-​mə-​nəst How to pronounce determinism (audio) , dē-​ \ noun or adjective
deterministic \ di-​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce determinism (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective
deterministically \ di-​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈni-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce determinism (audio) , dē-​ \ adverb

Examples of determinism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Theories of genetic determinism couldn’t explain these findings. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "An Intelligent Discussion About Race and IQ Is Possible," 15 Dec. 2020 Shaw’s resistance to determinism, and his insistence on the irreducible reality of human consciousness and will in nature and history, elicited Chesterton’s profound respect and admiration. M. D. Aeschliman, National Review, "G. K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw: An Ambivalent Literary Relationship," 5 Dec. 2020 Real-time operation is one thing, and determinism is another. Jacek Krywko, Ars Technica, "Definitely not Windows 95: What operating systems keep things running in space?," 2 Oct. 2020 Cultural evolutionary determinism may turn out to be as disempowering as all the other determinisms; a WEIRD reader may feel trapped inside her own prejudices. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, "Why Is the West So Powerful—And So Peculiar?," 6 Sep. 2020 But even they might be led astray by historical determinism: the presupposition of outcomes that representative data in the present has yet to reveal. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The “Law and Order” Backlash Against Biden Was a Mirage," 4 Sep. 2020 At once driven by claims of biological determinism and supported by the authoritarian heft of British empiricism, Francis Galton pioneered an insidious form of human scrutiny that would come to be known as eugenics. Jessica Helfand, Scientific American, "Darwin, Expression, and the Lasting Legacy of Eugenics," 13 Aug. 2020 Understanding how climate determinism unfolded historically can reveal the racial biases in present-day conversations about climate change. Simon Donner, Scientific American, "The Ugly History of Climate Determinism Is Still Evident Today," 24 June 2020 Blatant climate determinism persisted in the academic literature well into the last century. Simon Donner, Scientific American, "The Ugly History of Climate Determinism Is Still Evident Today," 24 June 2020

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

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for determinism

see determine

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Time Traveler for determinism

Time Traveler

The first known use of determinism was in 1838

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Statistics for determinism

Last Updated

28 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Determinism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/determinism. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for determinism

determinism

noun
How to pronounce determinism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of determinism

philosophy : the belief that all events are caused by things that happened before them and that people have no real ability to make choices or control what happens

determinism

noun
de·​ter·​min·​ism | \ di-ˈtər-mə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce determinism (audio) \

Medical Definition of determinism

1 : a theory or doctrine that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws explained behavior by the combination of an environmental and a genetic determinism
2 : the quality or state of being determined

Other Words from determinism

deterministic \ -​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈnis-​tik How to pronounce determinism (audio) \ also determinist \ -​ˈtərm-​(ə-​)nəst How to pronounce determinism (audio) \ adjective
deterministically \ -​ˌtər-​mə-​ˈnis-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce determinism (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on determinism

Britannica English: Translation of determinism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about determinism

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