Definition of decisive adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɪˈsaɪsɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈsaɪsɪv//
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  1. 1very important for the final result of a particular situation a decisive factor/victory/battle Climate was a decisive factor in establishing where the tournament should be held. She has played a decisive role in the peace negotiations. a decisive step (= an important action that will change a situation) towards a cleaner environment Synonymsessentialvital crucial critical decisive indispensableThese words all describe somebody/​something that is extremely important and completely necessary because a particular situation or activity depends on them.essential extremely important and completely necessary, because without it something cannot exist, be made or be successful:Experience is essential for this job.vital essential:The police play a vital role in our society.essential or vital?These words have the same meaning but there can be a slight difference in tone. Essential is used to state a fact or opinion with authority. Vital is often used when there is some anxiety felt about something, or a need to persuade somebody that a fact or opinion is true, right or important. Vital is less often used in negative statements:It was vital to show that he was not afraid. Money is not vital to happiness.crucial extremely important because a particular situation or activity depends on it:It is crucial that we get this right.critical extremely important because a particular situation or activity depends on it:Your decision is critical to our future.crucial or critical?These words have the same meaning but there can be a slight difference in context. Critical is often used in technical matters of business or science; crucial is often used to talk about matters that may cause anxiety or other emotions.decisive of the greatest importance in affecting the final result of a particular situation:She has played a decisive role in the peace negotiations.indispensable essential; too important to be without:Cars have become an indispensable part of our lives.Patterns essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical/​decisive/​indispensable for something essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical/​indispensable to something essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical that… essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical to do something a(n) essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical/​decisive/​indispensable part/​factor of vital/​crucial/​critical/​decisive importance absolutely essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical/​decisive/​indispensable
  2. 2able to decide something quickly and with confidence decisive management The government must take decisive action on gun control. opposite indecisive
  3. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from French décisif, -ive, from medieval Latin decisivus, from decis- ‘determined’, from the verb decidere ‘determine’, from de- ‘off’ + caedere ‘cut’.Word Familydecide verbdecision noun (indecision)decisive adjective (indecisive)undecided adjectiveExtra examples He had one potentially decisive factor in his favour: the element of surprise. It is the chief executive’s opinion which is ultimately decisive. Gettysburg was the decisive battle of the Civil War. Morrison scored the decisive goal in the 75th minute of the game. Physical and mental strength will be the decisive factors in today’s match. Signing the treaty was a decisive step towards a cleaner environment.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: decisive