a determining agent or factor.
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.
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.
Genetics Archaic. a gene.

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

nondeterminant, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
determinant (dɪˈtɜːmɪnənt)
1.  serving to determine or affect
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

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)

  1. An influencing or determining element or factor.

  2. Antigenic determinant.

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 ability to learn the ropes and pick up on things quickly will be one of
  the prime determinants of your success.
The ears of the hippopotamus: manifestations, determinants, and estimates of
  the malaria burden.
They consider inflation's principal determinants to be the gap between
  aggregate supply and demand and the public's expectations.
None of these trends are irreversible, and they are not in themselves
  determinants of victory.
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