Open main menu


Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English determinen, from Old French determiner, French déterminer, from Latin determinare (to bound, limit, prescribe, fix, determine), from de + terminare (to limit), from terminus (bound, limit, end).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪˈtɜːmɪn/
  • (US) IPA(key): /dɪˈtɝmɪn/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (file)


determine (third-person singular simple present determines, present participle determining, simple past and past participle determined)

  1. To set the boundaries or limits of.
    • 1611, Bible, KJV edition, Acts 17:26:
      [God] hath determined the times before appointed.
    • 1844, Francis Bacon, The Works of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of England:
      The knowledge of men hitherto hath been determined by the view or sight.
  2. To ascertain definitely; to figure out, find out, or conclude by analyzing, calculating, or investigating.
    • 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. The machine gun is so much more lethal than the bow and arrow that comparisons are meaningless.
  3. To fix the form or character of; to shape; to prescribe imperatively; to regulate; to settle.
    • 1741 July 8, Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God:
      The character of the soul is determined by the character of its God.
    • 1913, W. Black, 1913 Webster's Dictionary:
      something divinely beautiful [] that at some time or other might influence or even determine her course of life
  4. To fix the course of; to impel and direct; with a remoter object preceded by to.
    The news of his father's illness determined him to depart immediately.
  5. To bring to a conclusion, as a question or controversy; to settle authoritative or judicial sentence; to decide.
    The court has determined the cause.
  6. To resolve on; to have a fixed intention of; also, to cause to come to a conclusion or decision; to lead.
    I determined to go home at once.
  7. (logic) To define or limit by adding a differentia.
  8. (obsolete) To bring to an end; to finish.
    • c. 1596–1599, William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2, Act 4, Scene 5:
      Now, where is he that will not stay so long / Till his friend sickness hath determined me?

Derived termsEdit


Further readingEdit







  1. First-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of determinar
  2. Third-person singular (ele, ela, also used with tu and você?) present subjunctive of determinar
  3. Third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of determinar
  4. Third-person singular (você) negative imperative of determinar




  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of determinar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of determinar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of determinar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of determinar.