Adjective "deterrent" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


A thing that discourages or is intended to discourage someone from doing something.
  1. 'He said the case would also be appealed on the basis that the sentences are not reasonable, and do not constitute a deterrent to such abuse.'
  2. 'This should act as a deterrent to other violent criminals in Sutton.'
  3. 'The lack of ‘Canadian experience’ as a deterrent to good jobs hovers over the immigrants much too long.'
  4. 'These penalties will hopefully act as a deterrent to anybody else thinking of abusing or assaulting a referee.'
  5. 'It is argued that police in uniform ‘provide a significant deterrent to anti-social and criminal behaviour’.'
  6. 'Statistics prove that modesty is not a deterrent to rape.'
  7. 'As a deterrent to boatpeople, the mindless sabre-rattling by the Australian government is utterly futile.'
  8. 'And that setup will not act as a deterrent to his desire or quest for democratic change in this country.'
  9. 'Amnesty says the death penalty is not a deterrent to the drug trade as runners, rather than the kingpins, are most at risk of facing the gallows.'
  10. 'Penalty rates, which once acted as a limited deterrent to employers demanding excessive overtime, were either scrapped or severely cut back.'
  11. 'Britain's nuclear deterrent'
  12. 'Cdr Lister has joined an elite band of men at the helm of Britain's nuclear deterrent.'
  13. 'First, the submarine-launched ballistic system was recognized as the most survivable element in the triad of strategic nuclear deterrents.'
  14. 'Kennedy softened his position on joint nuclear deterrents when he came to understand that failure to agree might bring down his chum's government.'
  15. 'The nature of the two nations' nuclear deterrents means large sections of the two submarines are off limits to crew members of the twin boat if they are given tours.'
  16. 'Finally, France decided to build its own nuclear deterrent.'
  17. 'The irritating midges plague outdoor workers at the home of Britain's nuclear deterrent on Gareloch all year round.'
  18. 'He insisted on the development of a force de frappe, a nuclear deterrent, which at the time was considered a quintessential underpinning of superpower status.'
  19. 'So North Korea must need some strong, powerful, physical, military nuclear deterrent against America.'
  20. 'Another was submarine-launched ballistic missiles as a part of the nuclear deterrent of the superpowers.'
  21. 'To believe that a nuclear deterrent can do away with a conventional war is a difficult theory to subscribe to.'


Able or intended to deter.
  1. 'Certainty harsh punishment is necessary so that it will have a deterrent effect.'
  2. 'Perhaps the deterrent effect might make people who make this kind of disgusting threat think more than twice.'
  3. 'He said cameras would have a powerful deterrent effect on criminals by being dotted around the town.'
  4. 'Not only does it mean police have photographic evidence of offenders which can be used in court, but the van has a deterrent effect.'
  5. 'And the legal system generally takes the view that the value of using speech as evidence justifies this indirect deterrent effect.'
  6. 'Footage has led to convictions, and the van also has a deterrent effect.'
  7. 'Last year this figure rose to 374 as the deterrent effect of penalty points wore off.'
  8. 'He said he had not fixed the size of the penalty, but that it would be significant enough to have a deterrent effect.'
  9. 'There does not appear to be effective preventative or deterrent measures to cope with this rise in attacks.'
  10. 'The first raft of fines would soon have a deterrent effect.'


1. serving or tending to deter. noun

2. something that deters: a deterrent to crime.

3. military strength or an ability to defend a country or retaliate strongly enough to deter an enemy from attacking.

More examples(as adjective)

"risks can be deterrent at alls."

"lacks can be deterrent at stages."

"effects can be deterrent."

"forces can be deterrent."

"investments can be deterrent."

More examples++


Early 19th century: from Latin deterrent- ‘deterring’, from the verb deterrere (see deter).