deterrent

adjective
de·​ter·​rent | \ di-ˈtər-ənt How to pronounce deterrent (audio) , -ˈter-; -ˈtə-rənt, -ˈte-; dē- \

Definition of deterrent

1 : serving to discourage, prevent, or inhibit : serving to deter The ads had a deterrent effect on youth smoking.
2 : relating to deterrence a deterrent view of punishment

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Other Words from deterrent

deterrent noun
deterrently adverb

Examples of deterrent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Police agencies often announce checkpoints in advance to protect themselves from legal ramifications and because some studies show the practice has a deterrent effect on driving under the influence. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Butler County OVI Task Force: We'll see you tonight at Monroe sobriety checkpoint," 13 Sep. 2020 Police agencies often announce checkpoints in advance to protect themselves from legal ramifications and because some studies show the practice has a deterrent effect on driving under the influence. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Butler County OVI Task Force: We'll see you tonight at Monroe sobriety checkpoint," 13 Sep. 2020 Police agencies often announce checkpoints in advance to protect themselves from legal ramifications and because some studies show the practice has a deterrent effect on driving under the influence. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Butler County OVI Task Force: We'll see you tonight at Monroe sobriety checkpoint," 13 Sep. 2020 Police agencies often announce checkpoints in advance to protect themselves from legal ramifications and because some studies show the practice has a deterrent effect on driving under the influence. Jeanne Houck, The Enquirer, "Butler County police agencies will cast net for motorists driving under the influence tonight in Fairfield," 8 Aug. 2020 The goal is to send a deterrent message: Don’t even try this, don’t even leave. Washington Post, "Denied asylum, migrants return to place they fear most: home," 29 Dec. 2019 In the conventional military sphere, the deterrent effect of military decision would lengthen the time between wars both by diminishing the enemy’s combat capability, which would have to be rebuilt, and by denying the enemy its strategic objective. Steven Simon, The New York Review of Books, "The Middle East: Trump Blunders In," 16 Jan. 2020 The outgoing head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command has warned that if the United States does not take punitive or deterrent action against Russia, its malicious activity will continue. Washington Post, "Trump administration hits Russian spies, trolls with sanctions over U.S. election interference, cyberattacks," 15 Mar. 2018 However, Russia's nuclear cruise and torpedo weapons are, from an arms control standpoint, not exactly deterrent-focused weapons. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Putin boasts new strategic weapons will make US missile defense “useless”," 1 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of deterrent

1829, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deterrent

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

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Time Traveler for deterrent

Time Traveler

The first known use of deterrent was in 1829

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Statistics for deterrent

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deterrent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deterrent. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for deterrent

deterrent

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

Kids Definition of deterrent

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

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Comments on deterrent

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