|Definition - A written symbol or word that is used to disambiguate the meaning of another written symbol or word.|
Example - In Sumerian cuneiform texts many nouns are preceded or followed by a determinative that indicates the particular semantic group that the word belongs to - e.g. a symbol will indicate that the specified word is the name of a god.
Oxford English Dictionary - The term's first citation is from 1862:
"Very many of the native Mono-syllables are mere Determinatives."
(Marsh Eng. Lang. iv. 67)