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[dih-tur-uh nt, -tuhr-, -ter-] /dɪˈtɜr ənt, -ˈtʌr-, -ˈtɛr-/
serving or tending to deter.
something that deters:
a deterrent to crime.
military strength or an ability to defend a country or retaliate strongly enough to deter an enemy from attacking.
Origin of deterrent
1820-30; < Latin dēterrent- (stem of dēterrēns), present participle of dēterrēre. See deter, -ent
Related forms
deterrently, adverb
nondeterrent, adjective
2. restraint, curb, check, hindrance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for deterrent
  • The fact that Scott and four of his men froze to death was hardly a deterrent.
  • Both of these are deterrents to pursuing exclusive contracts, he says.
  • Winter is no deterrent to these gardeners.
  • New laws would act as a deterrent to spammers.
  • According to the study, these drug tests may not be the deterrent we expect them to be.
  • Not one of these studies found dairy to be a deterrent to osteoporosis.
  • Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism.
  • He added that exposing cheaters is an effective deterrent.
  • Supporters of steroid testing insist that the rarity of confirmed cases shows the program is working as a deterrent.
  • You say that it is a strong deterrent.
British Dictionary definitions for deterrent


something that deters
a weapon or combination of weapons, esp nuclear, held by one state, etc, to deter attack by another
tending or used to deter; restraining
Derived Forms
deterrence, noun
Word Origin
C19: from Latin dēterrēns hindering; see deter
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 deterrent

1829, noun and adjective, in Bentham, from Latin deterrentem, present participle of deterrere (see deter). In reference to nuclear weapons, from 1954.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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