from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Able or serving to determine: synonym: decisive.
  • noun A determining factor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having power to determine, fix, or decide; tending or serving to shape or direct; conclusive.
  • Of use in ascertaining the species; serving to determine the precise kind of a thing: as, determinative tables in the natural sciences (that is, tables arranged for determining the specific character of minerals, plants, etc., and to assist in assigning them to their species); determinative signs in hieroglyphics; determinative ornaments or structures.
  • noun That which determines or indicates the character or quality of something else.
  • noun In grammar, a determinative or demonstrative word.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Having power to determine; limiting; shaping; directing; conclusive.
  • adjective (Nat. Hist.) tables presenting the specific character of minerals, plants, etc., to assist in determining the species to which a specimen belongs.
  • noun That which serves to determine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun linguistics An ideogram used to mark semantic categories of words in logographic scripts.
  • adjective Determining (deciding) something.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective having the power or quality of deciding
  • noun a determining or causal element or factor
  • noun one of a limited class of noun modifiers that determine the referents of noun phrases


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Term used in the CGEL for the word class containing a, the, one, two, each, no, all etc., by other authors often called determiners. The CGEL uses 'determiner' to mean the functional position at the front of a noun phrase (often called specifier by others).

    August 15, 2008