Definition of deterrent in English:

deterrent

noun

  • 1A thing that discourages or is intended to discourage someone from doing something.

    ‘cameras are a major deterrent to crime’
    • ‘Namibia's barren and unwelcoming coastlines served as a natural deterrent to the ambitions of European explorers.’
    • ‘This should act as a deterrent to other violent criminals in Sutton.’
    • ‘Penalty rates, which once acted as a limited deterrent to employers demanding excessive overtime, were either scrapped or severely cut back.’
    • ‘I don't remember anyone who feared they were too heavy to be admitted into heaven or that fatness was a deterrent to salvation.’
    • ‘It is argued that police in uniform ‘provide a significant deterrent to anti-social and criminal behaviour’.’
    • ‘But Anderson admitted the park's unique location also serves as a deterrent to the deluge of visitors he's hoping for.’
    • ‘Amnesty says the death penalty is not a deterrent to the drug trade as runners, rather than the kingpins, are most at risk of facing the gallows.’
    • ‘These penalties will hopefully act as a deterrent to anybody else thinking of abusing or assaulting a referee.’
    • ‘Statistics prove that modesty is not a deterrent to rape.’
    • ‘Thus the culture of automobile travel would be a powerful deterrent to the successful utilisation of the proposed train.’
    • ‘The lack of ‘Canadian experience’ as a deterrent to good jobs hovers over the immigrants much too long.’
    • ‘He said the case would also be appealed on the basis that the sentences are not reasonable, and do not constitute a deterrent to such abuse.’
    • ‘As a deterrent to boatpeople, the mindless sabre-rattling by the Australian government is utterly futile.’
    • ‘To the front of these again is the infamous crash barrier, which should act as a deterrent to ramming but is already showing the dents brought on consistent efforts to get through.’
    • ‘A fine of £200, plus damages of £100 may be a deterrent to others.’
    • ‘I'm pleased they are being imposed and more will follow to act as a deterrent to others.’
    • ‘Police believe this may result from the areas having fewer walkers, who act as eyes and ears for the police and whose presence may also be a deterrent to thieves.’
    • ‘Disulfiram is a well established drug that acts as a deterrent to drinking by blocking the metabolism of alcohol and thus flooding the body with the toxic substance acetaldehyde.’
    • ‘And that setup will not act as a deterrent to his desire or quest for democratic change in this country.’
    • ‘The concentration of wealth and power is a great deterrent to democracy.’
    disincentive, discouragement, dissuasion, damper, brake, curb, check, restraint
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A nuclear weapon or weapons system regarded as deterring an enemy from attack.
      ‘Britain's nuclear deterrent’
      • ‘France and the United Kingdom each rely on just four submarines for their independent nuclear deterrents.’
      • ‘In this regard, U.S. ballistic-missile defense programs should not even appear to undermine the viability of Russia's or China's nuclear deterrents.’
      • ‘Originally, North Korea saw a nuclear deterrent as the cheapest and most effective means of defence.’
      • ‘The irritating midges plague outdoor workers at the home of Britain's nuclear deterrent on Gareloch all year round.’
      • ‘Kennedy softened his position on joint nuclear deterrents when he came to understand that failure to agree might bring down his chum's government.’
      • ‘He concentrates on the British independent nuclear deterrent, and concludes that it is an extravagance whose raison d' être expired with the Soviet Union.’
      • ‘So it either goes for total compliance or it races to develop enough of a nuclear deterrent that the USA does not want to risk an invasion.’
      • ‘Cdr Lister has joined an elite band of men at the helm of Britain's nuclear deterrent.’
      • ‘Finally, France decided to build its own nuclear deterrent.’
      • ‘The nature of the two nations' nuclear deterrents means large sections of the two submarines are off limits to crew members of the twin boat if they are given tours.’
      • ‘So North Korea must need some strong, powerful, physical, military nuclear deterrent against America.’
      • ‘He insisted on the development of a force de frappe, a nuclear deterrent, which at the time was considered a quintessential underpinning of superpower status.’
      • ‘Some of his advisers believe you can go as low as 1,500 and still have a credible nuclear deterrent, and think of the cost savings.’
      • ‘An independent nuclear deterrent, the Force de Frappe, was a prestigious symbol of this new policy.’
      • ‘First, the submarine-launched ballistic system was recognized as the most survivable element in the triad of strategic nuclear deterrents.’
      • ‘The day of direct action was organised by campaign group Trident Ploughshares over a High Court judgement which ruled that Britain's nuclear deterrent was not illegal.’
      • ‘To believe that a nuclear deterrent can do away with a conventional war is a difficult theory to subscribe to.’
      • ‘Another was submarine-launched ballistic missiles as a part of the nuclear deterrent of the superpowers.’
      • ‘Carver often spoke out in the House of Lords - as a critic of NATO's nuclear policy, and calling for the retention of British nuclear deterrents as superfluous.’
      • ‘Their report points out that service personnel have no choice over whether or not weapons such as the nuclear deterrent are used, as this lies in the control of the Prime Minister.’

adjective

  • Able or intended to deter.

    ‘the deterrent effect of heavy prison sentences’
    • ‘Footage has led to convictions, and the van also has a deterrent effect.’
    • ‘We want to have a presence in various parts of the world because it has a healthy deterrent effect.’
    • ‘The exceptions will lessen the penalty's deterrent effect, an effect that benefits many.’
    • ‘There does not appear to be effective preventative or deterrent measures to cope with this rise in attacks.’
    • ‘In many instances, the police fail to take effective deterrent action against rash and negligent driving.’
    • ‘He said he had not fixed the size of the penalty, but that it would be significant enough to have a deterrent effect.’
    • ‘There is substantial doubt that capital punishment has any significant deterrent effect.’
    • ‘Some experts argue that the deterrent effect of a punishment like caning is more potent than the current penal system.’
    • ‘He said cameras would have a powerful deterrent effect on criminals by being dotted around the town.’
    • ‘We want deterrent sentences to prevent crime as the current laws are not stringent enough.’
    • ‘Certainty harsh punishment is necessary so that it will have a deterrent effect.’
    • ‘But a great deal of recent evidence strengthens the claim that capital punishment has large deterrent effects.’
    • ‘Last year this figure rose to 374 as the deterrent effect of penalty points wore off.’
    • ‘Not only does it mean police have photographic evidence of offenders which can be used in court, but the van has a deterrent effect.’
    • ‘The first raft of fines would soon have a deterrent effect.’
    • ‘Perhaps the deterrent effect might make people who make this kind of disgusting threat think more than twice.’
    • ‘And the legal system generally takes the view that the value of using speech as evidence justifies this indirect deterrent effect.’
    • ‘In fact, given the criminalisation of politics, his presence may have a deterrent effect on the criminal elements.’
    • ‘If the punishment fails to reflect the devastation caused, public confidence and the deterrent effect will be undermined.’
    • ‘It will be backed by posters all over the town to enhance its deterrent effect.’

Origin

Early 19th century: from Latin deterrent- ‘deterring’, from the verb deterrere (see deter).

Pronunciation

deterrent

/dɪˈtɛr(ə)nt/