Definition of underdetermine in English:


transitive verb

[with object]usually be underdetermined
  • Account for (a theory or phenomenon) with less than the amount of evidence needed for proof or certainty.

    ‘most cosmological theories are underdetermined by the facts’
    • ‘Generalizing, we might say that just as points underdetermine equations, so facts underdetermine theories.’
    • ‘Hence, theory choice is underdetermined by evidence.’
    • ‘A child's linguistic abilities appear to be radically underdetermined by the evidence of verbal behavior offered to the child in the short period in which he or she expresses those abilities.’
    • ‘In practice, of course, the evidence available will often underdetermine the identification of the desires and beliefs operative in a given course of action.’
    • ‘Periods of transition are underdetermined and our tools for the study of such processes are necessarily insufficient.’
    • ‘In every case, he will claim, all the evidence we will ever have radically underdetermines what it would be true or even justifiable to believe.’



/ˌəndərdiˈtərmən/ /ˌəndərdɪˈtərmən/