Definition of deterrent noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈterənt//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɜːrənt//
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deterrent (to somebody/something) a thing that makes somebody 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) Word Originearly 19th cent.: from Latin deterrent- ‘deterring’, from the verb deterrere, from de- ‘away from’ + terrere ‘frighten’.Extra examples Defenders of the death penalty regard it as the ultimate deterrent. The bodies of executed criminals were hung on the city gates as a deterrent. There is no effective deterrent for these young criminals. They stressed the need for an independent nuclear deterrent. They were arguing about the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons. a deterrent against cheating a deterrent to all but the most determined attacker a deterrent to crime a punishment that will act as a deterrent to other offenders

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