Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Deter \De*ter"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Deterred; p. pr. & vb. n.
Deterring.] [L. deterrere; de + terrere to frighten,
terrify. See Terror.]
To prevent by fear; hence, to hinder or prevent from action
by fear of consequences, or difficulty, risk, etc.
Potent enemies tempt and deter us from our duty.
My own face deters me from my glass.
Verb - To discourage someone from doing something. From the Latin 'deterrere' - "to frighten away".
Deter may refer to:
- Auguste Deter (1850-1906), first person diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease
- Deters, surname
vb. 1 (context transitive English) To prevent something from happening. 2 (context transitive English) To persuade someone not to do something; to discourage.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
Usage examples of "deter".
There is no question that the world would be better off if Saddam did not have these weapons, but the danger is considerably less than if Saddam were allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, which he believes will deter the United States and Israel and thereby would encourage him to engage in the kind of foreign aggression that would be likely to provoke a nuclear crisis.
But ask yourself if you truly are willing to bet your savings, your job, or your life that Saddam Hussein will not use a nuclear weapon or embark on some new aggression in the belief that his nuclear weapons will deter the United States.
In particular, would he act aggressively in the mistaken belief that his nuclear weapons would deter an American or Israeli nuclear response?
Persons are deterred from settling in the neighborhood by the aguish character of the country.
If a feeling of modesty does not deter you from shewing yourself tender, loving, and full of amorous ardour with me in his presence, how could I be ashamed, when, on the contrary, I ought to feel proud of myself?
Finally, seeing that nothing could deter him from going in search of the lovely maiden he had seen, she slipped a ring on his hand, and bade him ride out of town in a certain direction, and dismount under a lime tree, where he would see something marvelous.
Henrietta said merrily that she and his lordship were more likely to come to cuffs than to indulge in a comfortable cose she made no attempt to deter the departure.
The critical assumption of this policy is that Saddam would be deterred by such an American threat even if he possessed nuclear weapons himself.
Saddam has a crude understanding of deterrence logic and has been successfully deterred in the past.
Yet he was deterred from employing chemical and biological weapons against Israel for fear of the much heavier retaliation Israel could mount with its nuclear arsenal.
What this means is that, especially given the difficulty of convincing Saddam beforehand that this was the course the United States would take, it was probably impossible for the United States to have deterred Saddam from invading Kuwait.
Saddam did not use WMD to prevent the rout during the ground phase of Desert Storm, it may be that he was deterred, but it seems at least as likely that he simply was unable to do so.
Even if we discount the unconfirmed CIA report of an attempted BW air strike, the evidence suggests that while Saddam may have been deterred at some level from using WMD tactically against coalition forces, this deterrence was actually quite conditional.
West had no idea existed, and thus they could not have deterred any coalition actions.
Saddam appears to have learned from the Gulf War, as best we understand them, are equally disquieting and indicate that he will not be easily deterred in the future.