Etymology
Advertisement
determine (v.)

late 14c., determinen, "to settle, decide upon; state definitely; fix the bounds of; limit in time or extent," also "come to a firm decision or definite intention" (to do something), from Old French determiner (12c.) and directly from Latin determinare "to enclose, bound, set limits to," from de "off" (see de-) + terminare "to mark the end or boundary," from terminus "end, limit" (see terminus).

Meaning "render judgment" is from early 15c. Sense of "give direction or tendency to" is from early 15c. Meaning "to find (as the solution of a problem)" is from 1640s. Related: Determined; determining; determiner.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
undetermined (adj.)
mid-15c., from un- (1) "not" + past participle of determine (v.).
Related entries & more 
determinate (adj.)

late 14c., "having defined limits, definite, defined, specific," from Latin determinatus, past participle of determinare "to enclose, bound, set limits to" (see determine). Also "fixed in mind" (mid-15c.).

Related entries & more 
predetermine (v.)

"to determine beforehand, destine by previous decree," 1620s, originally theological, from pre- "before" + determine or else from Late Latin praedeterminare (Augustine). Related: Predetermined; predetermining; predeterminate.

Related entries & more 
determined (adj.)

late 14c., "bound, limited, restricted;" 1560s, "decided," past-participle adjective from determine. Meaning "characterized by resolution" is from c. 1600, of actions; 1772, of persons. The earlier adjective in this sense was determinate. To be determined "have come to a decision, be resolved" is from 1510s. Related: Determinedly.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
indeterminable (adj.)
late 15c., from Late Latin indeterminabilis "that cannot be defined," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + determinabilis "that can be defined," from determinare "to enclose, bound, set limits to" (see determine). Related: Indeterminably.
Related entries & more 
indeterminate (adj.)
late 14c., from Late Latin indeterminatus "undefined, unlimited," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + determinatus, past participle of determinare "to enclose, bound, set limits to" (see determine). Related: Indeterminately.
Related entries & more 
determinative (adj.)

"having power or tendency to fix or decide," 1650s, from French déterminatif (15c.), from Latin determinat-, past-participle stem of determinare "to enclose, bound, set limits to" (see determine). Meaning "serving to determine the precise kind of a thing" is from 1690s. As a noun, "that which determines," from 1832.

Related entries & more 
determinism (n.)

1846, introduced by William Hamilton for "doctrine of the necessitarian philosophers" (who hold that human action is not free but necessarily determined by motives, regarded as external forces acting on the will or character of the person). See determine + -ism.

Determinism does not imply materialism, atheism, or a denial of moral responsibility; while it is in direct opposition to fatalism and to the doctrine of the freedom of the will. [Century Dictionary]

 From 1876 in general sense of "doctrine that everything happens is determined by a necessary chain of causation," from French déterminisme, from German Determinismus, perhaps a back-formation from Praedeterminismus.

Related entries & more 
determination (n.)

mid-14c., determinacioun, "decision, sentence in a suit at law, definite or authoritative judicial settlement," from Old French déterminacion "determination, settlement, definition" (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin determinationem (nominative determinatio) "conclusion, boundary," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin determinare "to enclose, bound, set limits to" (see determine).

Meaning "action of definitely ascertaining" is from 1670s; that of "result ascertained, a conclusion" is from 1560s. As "fixed direction toward a goal or terminal point," from 1650s, originally in physics or anatomy; metaphoric sense "fixation of will toward a goal, state of mental resolution with regard to something" is from 1680s; general sense of "quality of being resolute, fixedness of purpose as a character trait" is by 1822.

Related entries & more