Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “deterrent”


noun [C]     /dɪˈter.ənt/
C2 something that deters people from doing something: a nuclear deterrent Tougher prison sentences may act/serve as a deterrent to other would-be offenders.Preventing and impedingLimiting and restrictingDiscouraging and putting off deterrent     adjective a deterrent effectDiscouraging and putting offUnhelpful and Uncooperative
(Definition of deterrent noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of deterrent

Definitions of “deterrent” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a situation in which two people are friends

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More