Definition of determinate in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈtəːmɪnət/


1Having exact and discernible limits or form: the longest determinate prison sentence ever upheld by English courts
More example sentences
  • Such a calculus is like a machine which, fed with certain raw materials, manufactures a determinate product in an exact, orderly, and unvarying manner.
  • To be sure, one cannot place determinate limits on how much humans can come to know and how much we can control through our technology.
  • Discretionary parole has given way to longer and longer determinate sentences, coupled with an accelerating erosion of reformative prison programs.
fixed, settled, specified, quantified, established, defined, explicit, known, determined, definitive, conclusive, express, precise, final, ultimate, absolute, categorical, positive, definite
1.1 Botany (Of a flowering shoot) having the main axis ending in a flower bud and therefore no longer extending in length, as in a cyme.
Example sentences
  • When inoculated with M. loti, L. japonicus roots grafted on M. truncatula shoots produced determinate nodules identical in appearance to those produced on L. japonicus self-grafted roots.
  • In the determinate type, the inflorescence meristem becomes a terminal flower, whereas in the indeterminate type the inflorescence meristem gives rise to a number of floral meristems.
  • At maturity, the determinate plants also have a rather dense cluster of pods on a terminal raceme.



Example sentences
  • Its function is to create the political climate necessary for a translation of the field of indeterminacy into one of determinacy (hegemony).
  • This problem of stigma does not depend on determinacy as to whether those stigmatized are actually the ‘beneficiaries’ of racial discrimination.
  • The spurious determinacy given the law at the level of the nation-state (because the state has all the guns and can enforce any decisions reached) is entirely absent at the level of geopolitics.


Example sentences
  • In an odd way this book that is so determinately ordered is also about the failure of planned ordering.
  • On the contrary, ethics is determinately particularistic, at times veering dangerously close to narcissistic.
  • Not surprisingly, Valerie determinately wanted to follow.


Example sentences
  • By reason of this freedom the form of its determinateness also is utterly free - the externality of space and time which is absolutely for itself and without subjectivity.
  • The phrase ‘course of action’ and its property of ‘determinateness’ refers to the human realization of ultimate ends; that is, ends that are not reducible to, nor explained by, the natural world of the environment-human or nonhuman.
  • Incidentally, one should, of course, concede that scarlet itself is only a determinable relative to a more specific shade of it, so that more accurately one should speak of a scale of determinateness from most to least.


Late Middle English: from Latin determinatus 'limited, determined', past participle of determinare (see determine).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de|ter¦min|ate

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