determine

Definitions

General English

  • verb to fix something such as a date
  • verb to find out the details of something
  • verb to affect something in a particular way

General Science

  • verb to discover something by observation, calculation or experiment
  • verb to set or fix something precisely
  • verb to control or have an effect on something

Commerce

  • verb to fix, arrange or decide

Medical

  • verb to find out something by examining the evidence

Origin & History of “determine”

The central meaning of determine is ‘fix a limit to’, as in ‘determine the scope of an enquiry’. It comes via Old French determiner from Latin dētermināre, a compound verb formed from the prefix - ‘off’ and termināre ‘limit’ (source of English terminate). Its connotations of ‘firm resolve’, a 17th-century development, came via an intermediate sense ‘come to a firm decision on’.
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