Definition of deter in English:

deter

Line breaks: deter
Pronunciation: /dɪˈtəː
 
/

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-election
More 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.
Synonyms
put off, discourage, dissuade, scare off; warn, caution; dishearten, demoralize, daunt, make worried/nervous/anxious, frighten, unnerve, intimidate
1.1Prevent the occurrence of: strategists think not only about how to deter war, but about how war might occur
More example sentences
  • 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.
Synonyms
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

Origin

mid 16th century: from Latin deterrere, from de- 'away from' + terrere 'frighten'.

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