verb (used with object), de·terred, de·ter·ring.
- to discourage or restrain from acting or proceeding: The large dog deterred trespassers.
- to prevent; check; arrest: timber treated with creosote to deter rot.
verb -ters, -terring or -terred
- (tr) to discourage (from acting) or prevent (from occurring), usually by instilling fear, doubt, or anxiety
v.1570s, from Latin deterrere “to frighten from, discourage from,” from de- “away” (see de-) + terrere “frighten” (see terrible). Deterrent is from 1829.