9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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
  • Trial lawyers argue that malpractice lawsuits deter negligence.
  • To help deter weeds and conserve moisture, apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost around seedlings.
  • It uses sound and small strobe lights to deter deer from crossing .
  • Also, it makes the leaf and stem less yummy for the insects, thereby deterring them.
  • There are fewer customers at the book signing area of this store, but that doesn't deter the authors.
  • But the more interesting reason is that they also built the system to deter themselves.
  • Fortunately, in that case, it did not deter him from seeking justice.
  • Engagement is designed to reward good behaviour and hedging to deter bad.
  • We need meaningful punishment to deter crime.
  • That is natural enough, but they often deter private investment or exclude it altogether.
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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