de·​ci·​sive | \ di-ˈsī-siv How to pronounce decisive (audio) \

Definition of decisive

1 : having the power or quality of deciding The council president cast the decisive vote. a decisive battle
2 : resolute, determined a decisive manner decisive leaders a decisive editor
3 : unmistakable, unquestionable a decisive superiority

Other Words from decisive

decisively adverb
decisiveness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for decisive

conclusive, decisive, determinative, definitive mean bringing to an end. conclusive applies to reasoning or logical proof that puts an end to debate or questioning. conclusive evidence decisive may apply to something that ends a controversy, a contest, or any uncertainty. a decisive battle determinative adds an implication of giving a fixed character or direction. the determinative factor in the court's decision definitive applies to what is put forth as final and permanent. the definitive biography

Examples of decisive in a Sentence

You must be decisive and persistent to succeed in this competitive field. I stood there wondering what to do, but my sister was more decisive and immediately went to the phone. The fight ended with a decisive blow. the decisive battle of the war The poverty of his childhood played a decisive role in his adult life. The meeting is seen as a decisive step toward a peace treaty.
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Recent Examples on the Web Maybe Bass would in fact be a more decisive leader, but the bar hasn’t been set particularly high. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 19 Jan. 2022 Though intermittent skirmishes over voting rights had already erupted, the first decisive step in this modern struggle came in 2013. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, 18 Jan. 2022 His films are filled with bold and decisive action—taken mostly offscreen and only by implication—that distills his characters into archetypes and lends their incidental connections and intimate troubles an overarching, poignant grandeur. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 18 Jan. 2022 A few months into the release, the API company played a decisive role in our product launch. Kashyap Deorah, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 Huntley’s pass on the game’s decisive 2-point try never reached Andrews, deflected instead by Packers safety Darnell Savage’s outstretched hand. Jonas Shaffer,, 17 Jan. 2022 The Nets were led by Irving, who sizzled for 14 of his game-high 27 points in the third quarter but went just 2-of-7 in the decisive fourth. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 17 Jan. 2022 Hawkins returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, providing the decisive score for Team Kai. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Jan. 2022 At the same time, the country has felt the impact of climate change and that has helped increase pressure from some voters for more decisive action. NBC News, 25 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decisive.' 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 decisive

1584, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for decisive

Time Traveler

The first known use of decisive was in 1584

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Dictionary Entries Near decisive

decision tree


decisive action

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Statistics for decisive

Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Decisive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for decisive



English Language Learners Definition of decisive

: able to make choices quickly and confidently
: causing something to end in a particular way : determining what the result of something will be
: very clear and obvious


de·​ci·​sive | \ di-ˈsī-siv How to pronounce decisive (audio) \

Kids Definition of decisive

1 : causing something to end in a certain way The lawyer offered decisive proof.
2 : unmistakable, unquestionable a decisive victory
3 : firmly determined He began in a decisive manner.

Other Words from decisive

decisively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on decisive

Nglish: Translation of decisive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decisive for Arabic Speakers


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