deter

Deter means to discourage, or literally “to frighten away.” Halloween decorations that are too scary might deter trick-or-treaters, and the risk of being expelled deters kids from cheating in school.

Deter comes from the Latin de meaning "away" and terrere meaning "frighten." Something that deters isn’t always scary, though: citronella plants deter mosquitoes, and fines deter people from littering. Teddy Roosevelt's foreign policy dictum "walk softly but carry a big stick" was meant to deter other countries from attacking the United States.

Definitions of deter
1

v turn away from by persuasion

Synonyms:
dissuade
Antonyms:
persuade
cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action; twist somebody's arm
Types:
talk out of
persuade someone not to do something
Type of:
advise, counsel, rede
give advice to

v try to prevent; show opposition to

Synonyms:
discourage
Type of:
disapprove, reject
deem wrong or inappropriate

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