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[in-duhk-tiv] /ɪnˈdʌk tɪv/
of, relating to, or involving electrical induction or magnetic induction.
operating by induction:
an inductive machine.
of, relating to, or employing logical induction:
inductive reasoning.
Embryology. eliciting the action of an embryonic inducer.
serving to induce; leading or influencing (usually followed by to).
Origin of inductive
From the Late Latin word inductīvus, dating back to 1600-10. See induct, -ive
Related forms
inductively, adverb
inductiveness, noun
anti-inductive, adjective
anti-inductively, adverb
anti-inductiveness, noun
preinductive, adjective
semi-inductive, adjective
uninductive, adjective
Usage note
3. See deductive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for inductive
Contemporary Examples
  • Absent a clear answer, Obama has, in effect, asked the country to infer his goals by inductive reasoning.

Historical Examples
  • inductive observation is the great instrument of discovering important truths.

    A Logic Of Facts George Jacob Holyoake
  • What does it profit a man to discover The inductive Method and to lose his own soul?

    The Lost Art of Reading Gerald Stanley Lee
  • Individualism has been a much misunderstood thing, be it a social movement or a logical condition of inductive thinking.

    The Will to Doubt Alfred H. Lloyd
  • The method of the Hippocratic writers is that known to-day as the ‘inductive’.

  • As to static and inductive influences from lightning, it is evident that steel towers can give no protection.

  • It was not, and could not have been, arrived at by any inductive reasoning.

  • Why may we not consider the several "steps" of the inductive lesson as occurring in a definite and mutually exclusive sequence?

    How to Teach George Drayton Strayer and Naomi Norsworthy
  • The second step in inductive reasoning is the making of an hypothesis.

    Your Mind and How to Use It William Walker Atkinson
  • I have simply pursued the inductive process of reasoning, for which we are indebted to the immortal Bacon.

    Armadale Wilkie Collins
British Dictionary definitions for inductive


relating to, involving, or operated by electrical or magnetic induction: an inductive reactance
(logic, maths) of, relating to, or using induction: inductive reasoning
serving to induce or cause
a rare word for introductory
(biology) producing a reaction within an organism, esp induction in embryonic tissue
Derived Forms
inductively, adverb
inductiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inductive

early 15c., from Old French inductif or directly from Late Latin inductivus, from induct-, past participle stem of inducere (see induce). As a term in logic, from 1764.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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