If you determine something, you figure it out or settle a question, like when, after checking paws and hands, you determine that it's not the dog that ate your candy stash, but your kid sister.

Determine comes from the Latin for "bring to a close," and when you determine something, you have closed all the questions you have about it and are quite sure you know the answer. If you become a detective, you'll have to determine who did the crime. After working through a mathematical problem, you determine the value of X. Determine can also mean influence. Your childhood spent in your grandmother's delightful kitchen might have determined your future career as a baker.

Definitions of determine
  1. verb
    find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort
    synonyms: ascertain, check, find out, learn, see, watch
    ascertain, assure, check, control, ensure, insure, see, see to it
    be careful or certain to do something; make certain of something
    ascertain, find, find out
    establish after a calculation, investigation, experiment, survey, or study
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    determine the presence or properties of (a substance)
  2. verb
    establish after a calculation, investigation, experiment, survey, or study
    synonyms: ascertain, find, find out
    ascertain, check, find out, learn, see, watch
    find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort
    discover, find
    make a discovery, make a new finding
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    determine the capacity, volume, or contents of by measurement and calculation
    determine the amino-acid sequence of a protein during its synthesis by using information on the messenger RNA
    math: determine the length of
    fix, find, or establish again
    determine the order of constituents in
    determine the refracting power of (a lens)
    count, enumerate, number, numerate
    determine the number or amount of
    determine the quantity of someone's share
    locate, situate
    determine or indicate the place, site, or limits of, as if by an instrument or by a survey
    count again
    count wrongly
    conduct a census
    add, add together, add up, sum, sum up, summate, tally, tot, tot up, total, tote up
    determine the sum of
    locate (a moving entity) by means of a tracking system such as radar
    locate by means of radar
    locate within a specific region of a chromosome in relation to known DNA or gene sequences
    localise, localize, place
    identify the location or place of
    situate as a center of operations
  3. verb
    shape or influence; give direction to
    “experience often determines ability”
    synonyms: influence, mold, regulate, shape
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    dispose, incline
    make receptive or willing towards an action or attitude or belief
    disincline, indispose
    make unwilling
    shape or form or make badly
    carry weight
    have influence to a specified degree
    influence or determine
    shape anew or differently
    set the speed, duration, or execution of
    adjust through indexation
    regulate or set the pace of
    determine beforehand
    make susceptible
    foreordain, predestine, preordain
    foreordain or determine beforehand
    foreordain, predestinate, predestine
    foreordain by divine will or decree
    type of:
    cause, do, make
    give rise to; cause to happen or occur, not always intentionally
  4. verb
    reach, make, or come to a decision about something
    synonyms: decide, make up one's mind
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    measure, measure out, mensurate
    determine the measurements of something or somebody, take measurements of
    choose, pick out, select, take
    pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives
    determine by choice
    decide irrevocably
    purpose, resolve
    reach a decision
    decree, rule
    decide with authority
    orient, orientate
    determine one's position with reference to another point
    adjudicate, judge, try
    put on trial or hear a case and sit as the judge at the trial of
    govern, order, regularise, regularize, regulate
    bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage; impose regulations
    standardise, standardize
    cause to conform to standard or norm
    empanel, impanel, panel
    select from a list
    measure the altitude of by using a sextant
    measure by using trigonometry
    caliper, calliper
    measure the diameter of something with calipers
    choose by or as if by divine intervention
    select (a team or individual player) for a game
    sieve, sift
    distinguish and separate out
    select or take in from a given group or region
    choose by means of a dial
    go, plump
    give support (to) or make a choice (of) one out of a group or number
    select carefully from a group
    excerpt, extract, take out
    take out of a literary work in order to cite or copy
    cull out, winnow
    select desirable parts from a group or list
    cream off, skim off
    pick the best
    pick over, sieve out
    separate or remove
    assign, set apart, specify
    select something or someone for a specific purpose
    single out
    select from a group
    override, overrule, overthrow, overturn, reverse
    rule against
    think of
    choose in one's mind
    measure the caliber of
    define, fix, limit, set, specify
    decide upon or fix definitely
    rule in, rule out
    include or exclude by determining judicially or in agreement with rules
    guide, guide on
    use as a guide
    reorient, reorientate
    orient once again, after a disorientation
    adopt, espouse, follow
    choose and follow; as of theories, ideas, policies, strategies or plans
    screen, screen out, sieve, sort
    examine in order to test suitability
    vote in
    elect in a voting process
    select by a vote for an office or membership
    nominate, propose
    put forward; nominate for appointment to an office or for an honor or position
    express one's preference for a candidate or for a measure or resolution; cast a vote
    subject to trial by court-martial
    district, zone
    regulate housing in; of certain areas of towns
  5. verb
    settle conclusively; come to terms
    synonyms: settle, square off, square up
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    clear, solve
    settle, as of a debt
    settle by agreement
    settle conclusively
    settle by concession
    type of:
    conclude, resolve
    reach a conclusion after a discussion or deliberation
  6. verb
    fix conclusively or authoritatively
    synonyms: set
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    identify, place
    recognize as being; establish the identity of someone or something
    assign a date to; determine the (probable) date of
    fix or determine the value of; assign a value to
    fix the paternity of
    determine the arrangement of (data) for storage and display (in computer science)
    set or ask for a certain price
    initialise, initialize
    assign an initial value to a computer program
    assess, tax
    set or determine the amount of (a payment such as a fine)
    determine the price of
    chronologise, chronologize
    establish the order in time of something
    assign the wrong date to
    differentiate, distinguish, secern, secernate, separate, severalise, severalize, tell, tell apart
    mark as different
    overestimate, overvalue
    assign too high a value to
    underestimate, undervalue
    assign too low a value to
    allow (currencies) to fluctuate
    mark up
    increase the price of
    manipulate, rig
    manipulate in a fraudulent manner
    price excessively high
    offer for sale at a price lower than the market price
  7. verb
    decide upon or fix definitely
    synonyms: define, fix, limit, set, specify
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    use as a quantifier
    mention and identify by name
    set anew
    give a definition for the meaning of a word
    give a new or different definition of (a word)
    type of:
    choose, pick out, select, take
    pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives
  8. verb
    fix in scope; fix the boundaries of
    “the tree determines the border of the property”
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    nail down, narrow, narrow down, peg down, pin down, specify
    define clearly
    concretise, concretize
    make something concrete
    type of:
    define, delimit, delimitate, delineate, specify
    determine the essential quality of
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