v. de·ter·mined, de·ter·min·ing, de·ter·mines
a. To establish or ascertain definitely, as after consideration, investigation, or calculation: determined the easiest way to reach the summit. See Synonyms at discover.
b. To give direction to by making decisions; devise or control: The school board determines educational policy.
c. To decide or settle (a dispute, for example) conclusively and authoritatively. See Synonyms at decide.
2. To cause (someone) to come to a decision or resolution: "It was the discovery ... of this very project of hers, which determined him to come forward at once, own it all to his uncle" (Jane Austen).
3. To be the cause of; bring about a result regarding: the genes that determine eye color.
4. Mathematics To fix or define the position, form, or configuration of.
5. Logic To explain or limit by adding differences.
6. Archaic To put an end to legally; terminate under the law.
1. To reach a decision; resolve: determined to become a better pilot; determined on a course of treatment.
2. Archaic To come to an end through legal means.
[Middle English determinen, from Old French determiner, from Latin dētermināre, to limit : dē-, de- + terminus, boundary.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.