Definition of determinant in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈtəːmɪnənt/


1A factor which decisively affects the nature or outcome of something: pure force of will was the main determinant of his success
More example sentences
  • The categories were selected as indicators, risk factors or relevant environmental determinants affecting fitness, obesity and health.
  • Though a number of factors may influence the course of disease progression, a balance between the host factors and the virus factors are major determinants of the outcome of HIV infection.
  • So it could be argued that bottom line financial considerations were the main determinant of the four times a day musters and headcounts held in Villawood detention centre.
1.1 Biology A gene or other factor which determines the character and development of a cell or cells in an organism, a set of which forms an individual’s idiotype.
Example sentences
  • Previous studies examined the genetic determinants for arbovirus development within the invertebrate vector, but not transmission to a vertebrate host.
  • However, the genetic determinants appear to be chromosomal.
  • It is well established that genetic determinants play a role in the susceptibility to the development of asthma.
2 Mathematics A quantity obtained by the addition of products of the elements of a square matrix according to a given rule.
Example sentences
  • If you know the concept of the determinant of a square matrix, you may calculate the determinants of the 3x3 and 4x4 Liki-matrices.
  • What Yang's method essentially reduces to is finding the determinant of the matrix of coefficients of the system of equations.
  • It is not surprising that the beginnings of matrices and determinants should arise through the study of systems of linear equations.


Serving to determine or decide something.
Example sentences
  • This was the ‘key determinant factor’ in deciding not to pursue charges.
  • The invention of tools such as the forceps and the introduction of the medical man in the birthing place have been determinant steps in the history of childbirth.
  • This finding is substantiated by the paucity of significant determinant variables in these models.


Early 17th century: from Latin determinant- 'determining', from the verb determinare (see determine).

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