pre·​de·​ter·​mine ˌprē-di-ˈtər-mən How to pronounce predetermine (audio)
predetermined; predetermining; predetermines

transitive verb

: to determine beforehand
: to impose a direction or tendency on beforehand

Examples of predetermine in a Sentence

The sex of the child is predetermined when the egg is fertilized. religious sects that believe that an individual's salvation has been predetermined by God
Recent Examples on the Web Notably, the research found the politics of a state didn’t necessarily predetermine how receptive or opposed communities were to wind projects. Ella Nilsen, CNN, 25 Sep. 2023 The biographer-subject bond between Isaacson and Musk seems predetermined. WIRED, 15 Sep. 2023 To a certain extent, a boy's height as an adult is predetermined from birth. Maria Carter, Parents, 14 Sep. 2023 This doesn’t seem like something that’s random; it seems predetermined. Bill Gifford, Scientific American, 31 July 2023 However, the closure of its mishap investigation does not predetermine the results of ongoing or future environmental reviews, the FAA added. Alan Levin, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2023 In none of these wars have the tools predetermined the results. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 14 Aug. 2023 In a fictional landscape in which destructive (or indeed any) behavior always maps to a succinct backstory, the weight of personality is dampened; characters can end up feeling like flat stock types, their particular course through life predetermined by their response to certain obstacles only. Rachel Connolly, The New Republic, 17 July 2023 The values of the contracts of draft picks are predetermined, based on the NFL’s salary cap of $224.8 million for the 2023 season and this year’s rookie compensation pool in a formula spelled out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players association. Mark Inabinett |, al, 21 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'predetermine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin praedeterminare, from Latin prae- + determinare to determine

First Known Use

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of predetermine was in 1601

Dictionary Entries Near predetermine

Cite this Entry

“Predetermine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pre·​de·​ter·​mine ˌprēd-i-ˈtər-mən How to pronounce predetermine (audio)
: to decide or settle beforehand
meet at a predetermined place

More from Merriam-Webster on predetermine

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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