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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from deterrent

deterrent noun
deterrently adverb

Examples of deterrent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pitcavage warned that any deterrent effect in the arrests of Capitol attackers will have to be bolstered by follow-through prosecution. cleveland, "What does the future look like for Ohio militias?," 21 Feb. 2021 Experts said those decisions, plus the deterrent effect of the aggressive security response, may be enough to avoid a repeat of the chaos at the U.S. Capitol. Washington Post, "State capitols tighten security and brace for the unknown as far-right groups plot shows of strength," 16 Jan. 2021 Rhoades said sworn police officers have a deterrent effect on crime — for instance, to keep watch when gang members come in the ER. jsonline.com, "New police force in America: More hospitals are creating private departments, raising concerns about secrecy and abuse," 15 Dec. 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 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deterrent

Time Traveler for deterrent

Time Traveler

The first known use of deterrent was in 1829

See more words from the same year

Statistics for deterrent

Last Updated

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deterrent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deterrent. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on deterrent

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

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!