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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These penalties will hopefully act as a deterrent to anybody else thinking of abusing or assaulting a referee.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I don't remember anyone who feared they were too heavy to be admitted into heaven or that fatness was a deterrent to salvation.’
    • ‘Namibia's barren and unwelcoming coastlines served as a natural deterrent to the ambitions of European explorers.’
    • ‘Thus the culture of automobile travel would be a powerful deterrent to the successful utilisation of the proposed train.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The concentration of wealth and power is a great deterrent to democracy.’
    • ‘A fine of £200, plus damages of £100 may be a deterrent to others.’
    • ‘And that setup will not act as a deterrent to his desire or quest for democratic change in this country.’
    • ‘But Anderson admitted the park's unique location also serves as a deterrent to the deluge of visitors he's hoping for.’
    • ‘I'm pleased they are being imposed and more will follow to act as a deterrent to others.’
    • ‘As a deterrent to boatpeople, the mindless sabre-rattling by the Australian government is utterly futile.’
    • ‘It is argued that police in uniform ‘provide a significant deterrent to anti-social and criminal behaviour’.’
    • ‘The lack of ‘Canadian experience’ as a deterrent to good jobs hovers over the immigrants much too long.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Statistics prove that modesty is not a deterrent to rape.’
    • ‘Penalty rates, which once acted as a limited deterrent to employers demanding excessive overtime, were either scrapped or severely cut back.’
    • ‘This should act as a deterrent to other violent criminals in Sutton.’
    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’
      • ‘First, the submarine-launched ballistic system was recognized as the most survivable element in the triad of strategic nuclear deterrents.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Originally, North Korea saw a nuclear deterrent as the cheapest and most effective means of defence.’
      • ‘Kennedy softened his position on joint nuclear deterrents when he came to understand that failure to agree might bring down his chum's government.’
      • ‘The irritating midges plague outdoor workers at the home of Britain's nuclear deterrent on Gareloch all year round.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To believe that a nuclear deterrent can do away with a conventional war is a difficult theory to subscribe to.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Cdr Lister has joined an elite band of men at the helm of Britain's nuclear deterrent.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Another was submarine-launched ballistic missiles as a part of the nuclear deterrent of the superpowers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He concentrates on the British independent nuclear deterrent, and concludes that it is an extravagance whose raison d' être expired with the Soviet Union.’
      • ‘An independent nuclear deterrent, the Force de Frappe, was a prestigious symbol of this new policy.’
      • ‘France and the United Kingdom each rely on just four submarines for their independent nuclear deterrents.’

adjective

  • Able or intended to deter.

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

deterrent

/dɪˈtɛr(ə)nt/