I've just lost a word I use frequently whenever talking about the reasons for punishments.

The word should (I think) fill the blank: Punishments, such as jail time, __ people from doing crime.

The word is related to stopping, hindrance, incentive, restrict, etc.

In this usage, it should also imply that it stops people from committing crime because they don't want to go to jail. Jail also stops people from committing crimes because they can't leave jail. It should fit both of these simultaneously.

I hope this isn't too far of a stretch.

1 Answer 1


You seem to have mentally misplaced the word deter and the various words created from it using derivational morphology.

There are many synonyms of hinder and deter, but one normally thinks of deterrence as a (potential) factor in doling out criminal penalties.

Things like restrain, obstruct, impede, and dissuade aren’t at all so common for this purpose.

  • DETERRENCE! That's what I was looking for. Like I said, it was a common word that I had lost, so the word was pretty simple; I just had a brain fart. No where did I attempt to spell deter, though, so you should really just remove the first line. Further more, that's more appropriate for a comment, anyway. I'm guessing that's why you got down voted.
    – Nathan
    Commented Sep 28, 2013 at 2:46
  • @Nathan You’re welcome: deterrence is a fine word, far better than something like say disincentization. 😜 And not to be confused with detersion either. 😈 I wasn’t sure whether you wanted a noun or a verb. 😔
    – tchrist
    Commented Sep 28, 2013 at 2:47
  • Oh. My bad. I thought that said misspelled. Everything looks good then.
    – Nathan
    Commented Sep 28, 2013 at 2:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.