V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: to discourage or prevent from taking action, especially by frightening people or making them nervous about the consequences

Synonyms: dissuade, inhibit, prevent, preclude, damp, daunt, discourage, hinder, intimidate, restrain

Antonyms: encourage, incite, urge

Tips: Deter comes from the Latin word deterrere, "to frighten." Its modern meaning is not just "to frighten someone," but "to keep someone from doing something," often by frightening the person about the consequences. The related noun deterrent refers to something that deters, or should deter, someone from doing something. Deterrent is similar in meaning to hindrance, impediment, and obstacle, but is used more as something that scares one from moving forward.

Usage Examples:

Knowing that Becky had been punished for eating cookies between meals did not deter Tommy from sneaking a cookie when their mother wasn't looking. (daunt, prevent)

Criminologists disagree about whether longer jail sentences are really a deterrent against crime. (prevention, hindrance) noun

The complete lack of privacy did not deter Elaine from wanting to become a superstar. (dissuade, discourage, hinder)

I knew that I usually disagreed with the critic's opinions, so his bad review of the movie did not deter me from seeing it. (dissuade, prevent)

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