determinant

[dih-tur-muh-nuhnt]
noun
1.
a determining agent or factor.
2.
Mathematics. an algebraic expression of the sum of products of elements, each with an appropriate algebraic sign, usually written in a square array and used in the solution of systems of linear equations.
3.
Also called antigenic determinant, epitope. Immunology. any site on an antigen molecule at which an antibody can bind, the chemical structure of the site determining the specific combining antibody.
4.
Genetics Archaic. a gene.

Origin:
1600–10; < Latin dēterminant- (stem of dētermināns), present participle of dētermināre. See determine, -ant

nondeterminant, noun
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World English Dictionary
determinant (dɪˈtɜːmɪnənt)
 
adj
1.  serving to determine or affect
 
n
2.  a factor, circumstance, etc, that influences or determines
3.  maths Compare matrix a square array of elements that represents the sum of certain products of these elements, used to solve simultaneous equations, in vector studies, etc

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

determinant
from L. determinantem (nom. determinans), prp. of determinare (see determine).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

determinant de·ter·mi·nant (dĭ-tûr'mə-nənt)
n.

  1. An influencing or determining element or factor.

  2. Antigenic determinant.

adj.
Tending or serving to determine.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Your home temperature settings are an important determinant of fuel costs from
  heating.
The level of combat is the main determinant of mental health status.
In the virtual world, proximity in time is a value determinant.
He argues that spirituality, not economics, is the main determinant of social
  progress.
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