deterrent

play
adjective de·ter·rent \-ənt, -rənt\

Definition of deterrent

  1. 1 :  serving to discourage, prevent, or inhibit :  serving to deter The ads had a deterrent effect on youth smoking.

  2. 2 :  relating to deterrence a deterrent view of punishment

deterrent

noun

deterrently

adverb

Recent Examples of deterrent from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deterrent'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of deterrent

Latin deterrent-, deterrens, present participle of deterrēre to deter


DETERRENT Defined for Kids

deterrent

noun de·ter·rent \di-ˈtər-ənt, -ˈter-\

Definition of deterrent for Students

  1. :  something that makes someone decide not to do something The alarm is a deterrent against theft.



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by lack of plan or order

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!