late 14c., "to settle a dispute," from Old French decider, from Latin decidere "to decide, determine," literally "to cut off," from de- "off" (see de-) + caedere "to cut" (from PIE root *kae-id- "to strike"). For Latin vowel change, see acquisition. Sense is of resolving difficulties "at a stroke." Meaning "to make up one's mind" is attested from 1830. Related: Decided; deciding.
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