deter was our Word of the Day on 03/13/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of deter in a Sentence
Rick Wagoner, CEO of General Motors, the automaker in most imminent danger of failure, gave lawmakers three reasons Chapter 11 isn't an option. First, the special financing that usually tides companies over through reorganization is so scarce right now that GM might not be able to get enough to keep functioning. Second, the stigma of bankruptcy would deter consumers from buying GM cars. Third, GM is already in the midst of a dramatic reorganization that will pave the way to a profitable future. —Justin Fox, Time, 1 Dec. 2008
For some species that deter attack by being poisonous, the goal of their physical appearance is not to hide or confuse other forest creatures, but to be noticed. —Candice Millard, The River of Doubt, 2005
Originally developed to monitor and track cattle, radio frequency identification (RFID) is now the cutting edge in merchandise, parcel, and baggage tracking. It's debuting in stores and libraries across the country as the most effective way to track inventory and deter theft without making consumers feel like they're in a war zone. —Athan Bezaaitis, PC Magazine, January 2000
None of these tribulations deterred spectators in the least. The ancient Olympics remained immensely popular, the greatest recurring event in antiquity, from 776 B.C. (when Hercules himself was said to have founded them) until a ban on pagan festivals by Christian emperor Theodosius I in the fourth century A.D. ensured their demise—a spectacular thousand-year run. —Leigh Steinberg, Civilization, June/July 2000
Some potential buyers will be deterred by the price.
Painting the metal will deter rust.
Recent Examples of deter from the Web
The chamber’s CEO, Roger Baxter, argues that the new rules would deter investment and put up to 100,000 mining jobs at risk.
His ample resumé of erratic behavior didn't deter the New York Giants from making him their No.
Probiotics probably prevent the disorder by boosting the numbers of beneficial bacteria, which may deter the harmful ones.
Grappling with the severity, and the sensitivity of the information, Obama’s White House engaged in months of debate, weighing how best to punish Russia and deter them from taking further action.
Insect repellents may work to deter foraging fire ants from clinging to you, but are unlikely to be effective if the ants are defending their colony.
The president’s dark warnings of Mexican rapists and gangsters coming into the US haven’t deterred his supporters from coming to Mexico for dental care.
The police, at the behest of the local authorities, often harass lawyers and activists, hoping to deter them from bringing cases, advocates say.
After the jury deadlocked in November in Tensing’s first trial, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters asked that a second trial be moved away from the intense local attention.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deter'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Fearful History of deter
The word deter is rooted in fear. It was borrowed into English around the mid-16th century from the Latin verb deterrēre, which in turn was formed by combining de-, meaning "from" or "away," with terrēre, meaning "to frighten." Terrēre is also the source of terror, terrible, and even terrific, which originally meant "very bad" or "frightful." These days, you may be deterred by something that frightens you or by something that simply causes you to think about the difficult or unpleasant consequences of continuing. The word can also mean "to inhibit," as in "painting to deter rust."
DETER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of deter for English Language Learners
: to cause (someone) to decide not to do something
: to prevent (something) from happening
DETER Defined for Kids
Definition of deter for Students
1 : to cause (someone) not to do something Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honorable. — Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
2 : to prevent (something) from happening Painting the metal will deter rust.
Seen and Heard
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