Definition of determine in English:

determine

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Cause (something) to occur in a particular way; be the decisive factor in.

    ‘it will be her mental attitude that determines her future’
    • ‘Obviously the means used to drive out imperial occupiers are determined by the nature of the occupation.’
    • ‘Nor are the links with the unions in themselves decisive in determining the class nature of a party.’
    • ‘Anthropologist Small follows the various strands of nature and nurture that determine the fate of our children.’
    • ‘Prior research has shown that both family and community attitudes are influential in determining the amount of involvement of youth in activities.’
    • ‘Since a thing's criteria of identity are determined by its nature or kind, God is their ultimate ground.’
    • ‘The number of great powers at any time is considered a key feature of the international system, important in determining the level and nature of war.’
    • ‘Names are not determined by nature, nor is one name for a thing more correct than another.’
    • ‘The speed, type, size and quality of these networks determine the level and nature of participation available to communities.’
    • ‘The role of certainty of paternity in determining the degree and nature of male investment in offspring is equivocal.’
    • ‘The nature of the fall determines the site of the break, but decreased bone density is also necessary.’
    • ‘Watermen believe that only God and nature can determine the abundance or scarcity of crabs.’
    • ‘Because the danger exists that Bank of Ireland and AIB will now be snapped up as globalisation increasingly determines the future of the Irish economy.’
    • ‘The nature of structural factors determining levels of variation below the species level has not been examined.’
    • ‘The discussion then is not necessarily limited to whether nature determines culture or whether nature is simply a cultural construction.’
    • ‘At the centre of the Oedipus tragedy is man's struggle to understand the forces of nature that determine the course of events in the world in which he lives.’
    • ‘The results of your poll are largely determined by the nature of the publication itself.’
    • ‘Yet the stigmatizing nature of HIV determines the social consequences of the disease; thus, framing the nature of that experience.’
    • ‘You may say that you believe your actions to be meaningful, but you can never know to what extent your given nature is determining them.’
    • ‘The nature of the dictatorships determined the savage character of the eastern conflict.’
    • ‘They do not accept that the biological world is governed by mechanistic processes determined by laws of nature.’
    control, decide, regulate, direct, rule, dictate, govern, condition, form, shape
    deciding, decisive, conclusive, final, settling, definitive, key, pivotal, crucial, critical, most influential, significant, major, chief, principal, prime, paramount
    prompt, impel, induce, influence, sway, lead, move, cause, motivate, stimulate, prod, spur on, provoke, incite, dispose, incline, persuade, encourage, urge, inspire
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  • 2Ascertain or establish exactly, typically as a result of research or calculation.

    ‘officials are working with state police to determine the cause of a deadly bus crash’
    [with clause] ‘the point of our study was to determine what is true, not what is practicable’
    • ‘We need additional research to determine what remediation methods are most appropriate for which kinds of student impairment.’
    • ‘Further research will be necessary to determine what suppression of testosterone levels might mean, Sharpe said.’
    • ‘There are numerous such mechanisms, which range from determining the scope and nature of judicial jurisdiction to the setting of judicial salaries.’
    • ‘Automatically recorded information is becoming ever-more critical in determining the causes of increasingly complex accidents.’
    • ‘The aim was to determine what athletes should be excluded from the Olympics because of steroid use in a bid to avoid the embarrassment of a positive drugs test on the world stage.’
    • ‘Do your research and determine what will be best for you and your child.’
    • ‘This study was more qualitative in nature, determining the amount of exercise required for joint enhancement.’
    • ‘He travelled to Alexandria to oversee the construction of a practical water supply and to determine the size and nature of the local populus.’
    • ‘Parents, students and teachers should be free to determine what is learnt and employers and society should be free to pass judgement thereon.’
    • ‘Knowing that an author might be biased doesn't aid in determining the extent and nature of the bias.’
    • ‘A good plumber or mechanical engineer should do a heat-loss calculation for your rooms to determine what output radiators you need.’
    • ‘Presenters will also discuss the need for new service delivery systems and research to determine what works.’
    • ‘Study results vary and some experts say more research is needed to determine what negative impacts DDT has on humans.’
    • ‘The next step for researchers is to determine what lynx perceive as a barrier between one forest and the next.’
    • ‘Today a spokesman for the council said contractors were working to determine the extent and nature of the subsidence and apologised for the inconvenience caused to drivers.’
    • ‘Do an assessment to determine what additional equipment may be needed and determine the best location for the equipment.’
    • ‘Landfill sites are a potentially important cause of environmental pollution and ill health and studies are needed to determine the size and nature of such potential risks.’
    • ‘Such information may be useful to future investigators in determining the motivating factors behind participation in treatment programs.’
    • ‘They have access to the best sources of information and regularly dissect competitive moves to determine future trends.’
    • ‘Nortel has now entered into consultations with employees to determine the scope and nature of the cuts, as well as any redundancy packages to be offered.’
    find out, discover, ascertain, learn, establish, fix, settle, decide, calculate, work out, make out, come to know, get to know, ferret out, deduce, divine, intuit, diagnose, discern, check, verify, confirm, make certain of, certify
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    1. 2.1Mathematics
      Specify the value, position, or form of (a mathematical or geometric object) uniquely.
      • ‘Weil's work on polynomial equations led to questions on what properties of a geometric object can be determined purely algebraically.’
      • ‘Determine the geometric object represented by the equation and draw this object.’
  • 3[no object] Firmly decide.

    ‘he determined on a withdrawal of his forces’
    [with infinitive] ‘she determined to tackle Stephen the next day’
    • ‘For some reason, they determined on migrating to the eastward, and accordingly set out together in a body.’
    • ‘The thought of leading the cloistered life of a nun made her bitterly unhappy, and she determined to run away from the convent.’
    • ‘Graham's determined that our remaining time here should be as short as possible.’
    • ‘Lily had determined that she would not be sad.’
    resolve, decide, come to a decision, make a decision, reach a decision, make up one's mind, choose, elect, opt
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  • 4Law
    archaic Bring or come to an end.

    • ‘The firm was also involved in a number of other major judicial review proceedings which would be determined in the first three months of 2000.’
    • ‘The English courts are obviously an appropriate forum to determine English Law issues.’
    • ‘This issue, as between Mr Rogers and Mrs Bailey, was not determined by the defendant.’
    • ‘The wife requests that the matter of spousal support not be determined at this hearing.’
    • ‘That particular question must be determined against the appellant.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French determiner, from Latin determinare limit, fix from de- completely + terminare terminate.

Pronunciation:

determine

/dəˈtərmən/