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’
    • ‘They do not accept that the biological world is governed by mechanistic processes determined by laws of nature.’
    • ‘Obviously the means used to drive out imperial occupiers are determined by the nature of the occupation.’
    • ‘Watermen believe that only God and nature can determine the abundance or scarcity of crabs.’
    • ‘The nature of structural factors determining levels of variation below the species level has not been examined.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Since a thing's criteria of identity are determined by its nature or kind, God is their ultimate ground.’
    • ‘Anthropologist Small follows the various strands of nature and nurture that determine the fate of our children.’
    • ‘Names are not determined by nature, nor is one name for a thing more correct than another.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 nature of the dictatorships determined the savage character of the eastern conflict.’
    • ‘The speed, type, size and quality of these networks determine the level and nature of participation available to communities.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Prior research has shown that both family and community attitudes are influential in determining the amount of involvement of youth in activities.’
    • ‘The discussion then is not necessarily limited to whether nature determines culture or whether nature is simply a cultural construction.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Nor are the links with the unions in themselves decisive in determining the class nature of a party.’
    deciding, decisive, conclusive, final, settling, definitive, key, pivotal, crucial, critical, most influential, significant, major, chief, principal, prime, paramount
    control, decide, regulate, direct, rule, dictate, govern, condition, form, shape
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  • 2Ascertain or establish exactly, typically as a result of research or calculation.

    with clause ‘the point of our study was to determine what is true, not what is practicable’
    ‘officials are working with state police to determine the cause of a deadly bus crash’
    • ‘Presenters will also discuss the need for new service delivery systems and research to determine what works.’
    • ‘Such information may be useful to future investigators in determining the motivating factors behind participation in treatment programs.’
    • ‘There are numerous such mechanisms, which range from determining the scope and nature of judicial jurisdiction to the setting of judicial salaries.’
    • ‘The next step for researchers is to determine what lynx perceive as a barrier between one forest and the next.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Knowing that an author might be biased doesn't aid in determining the extent and nature of the bias.’
    • ‘This study was more qualitative in nature, determining the amount of exercise required for joint enhancement.’
    • ‘Do an assessment to determine what additional equipment may be needed and determine the best location for the equipment.’
    • ‘Further research will be necessary to determine what suppression of testosterone levels might mean, Sharpe said.’
    • ‘Parents, students and teachers should be free to determine what is learnt and employers and society should be free to pass judgement thereon.’
    • ‘We need additional research to determine what remediation methods are most appropriate for which kinds of student impairment.’
    • ‘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 your research and determine what will be best for you and your child.’
    • ‘A good plumber or mechanical engineer should do a heat-loss calculation for your rooms to determine what output radiators you need.’
    • ‘Automatically recorded information is becoming ever-more critical in determining the causes of increasingly complex accidents.’
    • ‘He travelled to Alexandria to oversee the construction of a practical water supply and to determine the size and nature of the local populus.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They have access to the best sources of information and regularly dissect competitive moves to determine future trends.’
    • ‘Study results vary and some experts say more research is needed to determine what negative impacts DDT has on humans.’
    find out, discover, ascertain, learn, establish, fix, settle, decide, calculate, work out, make out, fathom, fathom 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.
      • ‘Determine the geometric object represented by the equation and draw this object.’
      • ‘Weil's work on polynomial equations led to questions on what properties of a geometric object can be determined purely algebraically.’
  • 3no object Firmly decide.

    ‘he determined on a withdrawal of his forces’
    with infinitive ‘she determined to tackle Stephen the next day’
    • ‘The thought of leading the cloistered life of a nun made her bitterly unhappy, and she determined to run away from the convent.’
    • ‘For some reason, they determined on migrating to the eastward, and accordingly set out together in a body.’
    • ‘Lily had determined that she would not be sad.’
    • ‘Graham's determined that our remaining time here should be as short as possible.’
    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.

    • ‘This issue, as between Mr Rogers and Mrs Bailey, was not determined by the defendant.’
    • ‘The English courts are obviously an appropriate forum to determine English Law issues.’
    • ‘The wife requests that the matter of spousal support not be determined at this hearing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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//dəˈtərmən/