American English

Definition of deterrent noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



deterrent (to somebody/something)
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a thing that makes someone less likely to do something (= that deters them) Hopefully his punishment will act as a deterrent to others. the country's nuclear deterrents (= nuclear weapons that are intended to stop an enemy from attacking)
noun [uncountable] (formal) His view is that prison sentences must be long enough to satisfy the requirements both of retribution and deterrence.
deterrent adjective
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a deterrent effect