1. Cutting off; division; detachment of a part.

2. The act of deciding; act of settling or terminating, as a controversy, by giving judgment on the matter at issue; determination, as of a question or doubt; settlement; conclusion. "The decision of some dispute." (Atterbury)

3. An account or report of a conclusion, especially of a legal adjudication or judicial determination of a question or cause; as, a decision of arbitrators; a decision of the Supreme Court.

4. The quality of being decided; prompt and fixed determination; unwavering firmness; as, to manifest great decision.

Synonyms: Decision, Determination, Resolution.

Each of these words has two meanings, one implying the act of deciding, determining, or resolving; and the other a habit of mind as to doing. It is in the last sense that the words are here compared. Decision is a cutting short. It implies that several courses of action have been presented to the mind, and that the choice is now finally made. It supposes, therefore, a union of promptitude and energy. Determination is the natural consequence of decision. It is the settling of a thing with a fixed purpose to adhere. Resolution is the necessary result in a mind which is characterised by firmness. It is a spirit which scatters (resolves) all doubt, and is ready to face danger or suffering in carrying out one's determinations. Martin Luther was equally distinguished for his prompt decision, his steadfast determination, and his inflexible resolution.

Origin: L. Decisio, fr. Decidere, decisum: cf. F. Decision. See Decide.

(01 Mar 1998)

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