Definition of determinant in US English:



  • 1A factor which decisively affects the nature or outcome of something.

    ‘pure force of will was the main determinant of his success’
    • ‘Psychological and behavioural responses to pain and social factors are the main determinants of chronic pain disability.’
    • ‘For nearly six years the mighty dollar was entirely insulated from trade data, one of the main determinants of currency market movements in conventional economic theory.’
    • ‘So it could be argued that bottom line financial considerations were the main determinant of the four times a day musters and headcounts held in Villawood detention centre.’
    • ‘In contrast, ‘reform’ as a determinant of the electoral outcome has been largely diffused.’
    • ‘The categories were selected as indicators, risk factors or relevant environmental determinants affecting fitness, obesity and health.’
    • ‘A whole gamut of policies, affecting the three crucial determinants of state level growth, have been considered.’
    • ‘These low levels of wages are not merely explainable by the level of education and productivity of the workers; the structures of underdevelopment are perhaps the main determinants.’
    • ‘Though a number of factors may influence the course of disease progression, a balance between the host factors and the virus factors are major determinants of the outcome of HIV infection.’
    • ‘Ultimately, the main determinants of our grog and drug problem are the passive welfare paradigm that has taken hold of our society and the liberal drug ideology in Australian society at large.’
    • ‘One of the most important determinants affecting exercise adherence is the environmental factor of perceived availability of time.’
    • ‘In a study based on company data, Steve Fazzari found that the main determinant for investment decisions was expected sales rather than the interest rate.’
    • ‘It doesn't really matter if the IQ is the main determinant of earnings, or economic growth, or anything else.’
    • ‘New Delhi and Islamabad will have to forget the bitter past, which is the main determinant of their perceptual distortions for a better and prosperous future.’
    • ‘We do have clear evidence that a teacher's expectation of a student's potential achievement is a crucial determinant of learning outcomes.’
    • ‘The site of drug localization appears to be a more important determinant than other factors: absorbance and steady-state accumulation.’
    • ‘Ask a woman, and she will speak of social factors that are the main determinants that steer women to make choices that are not really free choices.’
    • ‘But this all happened because trade must follow its course and in recent times trade relationship is the main determinant of foreign relations.’
    • ‘It is against this background that the present study examines the nature and determinants of Palestinian attitudes toward democracy.’
    • ‘Research shows consistently that childcare workers are the crucial determinant in delivering quality outcomes for children.’
    • ‘The most common approach to measuring cumulative effects across domains or over time is to use past events and outcomes as determinants of current outcomes.’
    factor, issue, point, concern, item, matter, element, detail, aspect, facet, feature
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Biology A gene or other factor that determines the character and development of a cell or group of cells in an organism, a set of which forms an individual's idiotype.
      • ‘It is well established that genetic determinants play a role in the susceptibility to the development of asthma.’
      • ‘However, the genetic determinants appear to be chromosomal.’
      • ‘Previous studies examined the genetic determinants for arbovirus development within the invertebrate vector, but not transmission to a vertebrate host.’
      • ‘This suggests that a determinant necessary for regionality is located between bands 1 and 21.’
      • ‘The primary determinant of sexual identity in Drosophila, the X chromosome karyotype, was discovered nearly a century ago.’
  • 2Mathematics
    A quantity obtained by the addition of products of the elements of a square matrix according to a given rule.

    • ‘Ten years later Leibniz, independently, used determinants to solve simultaneous equations although Seki's version was the more general.’
    • ‘It is not surprising that the beginnings of matrices and determinants should arise through the study of systems of linear equations.’
    • ‘If one starts by defining the determinant for a triangular matrix and specifying the effect of the basic row operations on the determinant, one can obtain all of these results within a single section.’
    • ‘If you know the concept of the determinant of a square matrix, you may calculate the determinants of the 3x3 and 4x4 Liki-matrices.’
    • ‘What Yang's method essentially reduces to is finding the determinant of the matrix of coefficients of the system of equations.’


  • Serving to determine or decide something.

    • ‘Such strong family ties breed a communal spirit in which the needs of the group are more determinant than those of the individual.’
    • ‘Residual chlorine concentration and contact time are determinant factors for the presence or absence of enterobacteria and H. pylori.’
    • ‘Namely the determinant role of ideological opinions has to be replaced by policies that raise the living standards of the people, to ensure they everyone has enough to live on and to ensure society is peaceful and happy.’
    • ‘I've yet to be convinced that the technical ability to sing is, in itself, a vital or determinant aspect of what makes a pop phenomenon great.’
    • ‘And, given a territory, the sheer volume of the population, its absolute size, plays a determinant role; the extent of the division of labour is positively correlated with a population's size.’
    • ‘It is to assert that human beings and their desires can alter otherwise determinant structures.’
    • ‘But as any linguist would tell you, a word never has a single determinant meaning.’
    • ‘The anatomy of bamboo culms and the multilayered structure of fibre cell walls are known to be the main determinant factors for its physical and mechanical properties.’
    • ‘Through comparative analysis, Wirth tries to expose the determinant formal structure that underlies images.’
    • ‘In fact, however, selection is bound to be arbitrary, because rationales for including one country and excluding another are based on judgments as to what the determinant variables are.’
    • ‘This was the ‘key determinant factor’ in deciding not to pursue charges.’
    • ‘The increased mobility observed on the collagen gel may also be a determinant factor for collective cell migration because high mobility can lead to inertial motion in the congested state.’
    • ‘Geographical origin is therefore no determinant factor of the way the picture is composed.’
    • ‘WTO members had been engaged in intensive consultations, in a constructive and determinant manner, to achieve this goal.’
    • ‘This finding is substantiated by the paucity of significant determinant variables in these models.’
    • ‘The invention of tools such as the forceps and the introduction of the medical man in the birthing place have been determinant steps in the history of childbirth.’
    • ‘The results also suggest that determinant attributes may differ among cultural groups.’
    • ‘Among these processes, mitochondrial function seems to play a determinant role.’
    • ‘Central power degenerated in a country where local power was more determinant than ever, in the era of warlords.’
    • ‘Gibson's studies clearly suggest that appropriate behavior cannot be the most important determinant factor of academic achievement.’


Early 17th century: from Latin determinant- ‘determining’, from the verb determinare (see determine).