Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

decide - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     decide pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participledeciding
past tensedecided
past participledecided
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to make a choice about what you are going to do
    decide to do something:

    He decided to stay and see what would happen.

    decide (that):

    I decided that it would be best to tell George everything.

    decide what/whether/how/when/where etc.:

    I can’t decide what to do.

    She needs to decide whether or not she wants to keep the house.

    decide between:

    Julia has to decide between being an architect or a novelist.

    decide for yourself (=make a choice yourself and not ask or allow someone else to do it for you):

    “We think people should have the opportunity to decide for themselves what they want.”

    1. a.
      [transitive] to influence someone so that they make a particular choice

      What finally decided me was the location.

      decide someone to do something:

      That decided me to finally leave my job.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to produce a particular result

    Today’s game will decide the championship.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to consider something carefully and officially state what should be done about it

    It could take months before this case is decided.

    The matter will be decided by a Senate committee.

    decide against/in favor of someone:

    The court decided against Mrs. McLaughlin.

    If the committee decides in his favor, he will be a very rich man.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play