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[dih-tur] /dɪˈtɜr/
verb (used with object), deterred, deterring.
to discourage or restrain from acting or proceeding:
The large dog deterred trespassers.
to prevent; check; arrest:
timber treated with creosote to deter rot.
Origin of deter
1570-80; < Latin dēterrēre to prevent, hinder, equivalent to dē- de- + terrēre to frighten
Related forms
determent, noun
deterrable, adjective
deterrability, noun
deterrer, noun
undeterrability, noun
undeterrable, adjective
undeterrably, adverb
undeterred, adjective
undeterring, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for deter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They would not actually approach the tell, lest the sight of Arabs near the spot should deter Captain Ellingford from alighting.

    Carry On! Herbert Strang
  • Yet you see this did not deter her from entrusting her fortune to you.

    Major Frank A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
  • But this did not deter him from making, soon afterwards, a still greater effort within the precincts of the city itself.

  • The wall was, as I said, from fifteen to twenty feet high, but this did not deter me.

    The Birthright Joseph Hocking
  • But Fritz had evidently made up his mind, and would not allow anything to deter him.

    Boy Scouts on a Long Hike Archibald Lee Fletcher
British Dictionary definitions for deter


verb -ters, -terring, -terred
(transitive) to discourage (from acting) or prevent (from occurring), usually by instilling fear, doubt, or anxiety
Derived Forms
determent, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dēterrēre, from de- + terrēre to frighten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deter

1570s, from Latin deterrere "to frighten from, discourage from," from de- "away" (see de-) + terrere "frighten" (see terrible). Deterrent is from 1829.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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