deterrent ( deterrents plural )
1 n-count A deterrent is something that prevents people from doing something by making them afraid of what will happen to them if they do it.
They seriously believe that capital punishment is a deterrent...
2 n-count A deterrent is a weapon or set of weapons designed to prevent enemies from attacking by making them afraid to do so.
...a nuclear deterrent.
3 adj If something has a deterrent effect, it has the effect of preventing people from doing certain things.
...his belief in the deterrent value of capital punishment.
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"