Synonym Chooser

How does the verb decide differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of decide are determine, resolve, rule, and settle. While all these words mean "to come or cause to come to a conclusion," decide implies previous consideration of a matter causing doubt, wavering, debate, or controversy.

she decided to sell her house

When can determine be used instead of decide?

Although the words determine and decide have much in common, determine implies fixing the identity, character, scope, or direction of something.

determined the cause of the problem

In what contexts can resolve take the place of decide?

The synonyms resolve and decide are sometimes interchangeable, but resolve implies an expressed or clear decision or determination to do or refrain from doing something.

he resolved to quit smoking

When might rule be a better fit than decide?

In some situations, the words rule and decide are roughly equivalent. However, rule implies a determination by judicial or administrative authority.

the judge ruled that the evidence was inadmissible

When is settle a more appropriate choice than decide?

While the synonyms settle and decide are close in meaning, settle implies a decision reached by someone with power to end all dispute or uncertainty.

the dean's decision settled the campus alcohol policy

Thesaurus Entries Near decide

Cite this Entry

“Decide.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on decide

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