verb (deters, deterring, deterred)[with object]
- 1Discourage (someone) from doing something by instilling doubt or fear of the consequences: only a health problem would deter him from seeking re-electionMore example sentences
- All the academic evidence suggests fear of debt deters people from less prosperous backgrounds.
- Usually, the fear of victimisation deters people from making complaints against corrupt officials.
- It is the lack of awareness and fear that deters people from getting themselves examined.
- 1.1Prevent the occurrence of: strategists think not only about how to deter war, but about how war might occurMore example sentences
prevent, stop, put a stop to, avert, nip in the bud, fend off, turn aside, stave off, ward off, head off, shut out, block, intercept, halt, arrest, check, stay, keep, hinder, impede, hamper, obstruct, baulk, foil, thwart, obviate, frustrate, forestall, counteract, inhibit, hold back, curb, restrain, preclude, pre-empt, save, help• archaic let
- Informing on dealers can deter crime and prevent untold human misery, according to the campaign.
- The order is aimed at deterring anti-social behaviour and preventing escalation of the behaviour, without recourse to criminal sanctions.
- It clearly makes nuclear weapons a tool for fighting a war, rather than deterring them.
mid 16th century: from Latin deterrere, from de- 'away from' + terrere 'frighten'.