[kuh n-duhk-shuh n]
See more synonyms for conduction on
  1. the act of conducting, as of water through a pipe.
  2. Physics.
    1. the transfer of heat between two parts of a stationary system, caused by a temperature difference between the parts.
    2. transmission through a conductor.
    3. conductivity.
  3. Physiology. the carrying of sound waves, electrons, heat, or nerve impulses by a nerve or other tissue.

Origin of conduction

1530–40; < Latin conductiōn- (stem of conductiō) a bringing together, a hiring, equivalent to conduct(us) (see conduct) + -iōn- -ion
Related formscon·duc·tion·al, adjectivepre·con·duc·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for conduction

Historical Examples of conduction

  • Such bodies will lose their heat by radiation and conduction.

    Time and Tide

    Robert S. (Robert Stawell) Ball

  • The third loss is by conduction and radiation, which amounts to fifteen per cent.


    James Slough Zerbe

  • Thus, heat may be transmitted either by conduction, convection, or radiation.


    James Slough Zerbe

  • This was placed in the room and provided heat by conduction, convection, and radiation.


    Willis Eugene Tower

  • When we stand before a fire, does the heat reach us by conduction or by radiation?

British Dictionary definitions for conduction


  1. the transfer of energy by a medium without bulk movement of the medium itselfheat conduction,; electrical conduction,; sound conduction Compare convection (def. 1)
  2. the transmission of an electrical or chemical impulse along a nerve fibre
  3. the act of conveying or conducting, as through a pipe
  4. physics another name for conductivity (def. 1)
Derived Formsconductional, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for conduction

1530s, "hiring;" 1540s, "leading, guidance," from Old French conduction "hire, renting," from Latin conductionem (nominative conductio), noun of action from past participle stem of conducere (see conduce). Sense of "conducting of a liquid through a channel" is from 1610s; in physics, of heat, etc., from 1814.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

conduction in Medicine


  1. The transmission or conveying of something through a medium or passage, especially the transmission of electric charge or heat through a conducting medium without perceptible motion of the medium itself.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

conduction in Science


  1. The transfer of energy, such as heat or an electric charge, through a substance. In heat conduction, energy is transferred from molecule to molecule by direct contact; the molecules themselves do not necessarily change position, but simply vibrate more or less quickly against each other. In electrical conduction, energy is transferred by the movement of electrons or ions. Compare convection. See also radiation.
A Closer Look: Heat is a form of energy that manifests itself in the motion of molecules and atoms, as well as subatomic particles. Heat energy can be transferred by conduction, convection, or radiation. In conduction heat spreads through a substance when faster atoms and molecules collide with neighboring slower ones, transferring some of their kinetic energy to them. This is how the handle of a teaspoon sticking out of a cup of hot tea eventually gets hot, though it is not in direct contact with the hot liquid. When a fluid is heated, portions of the fluid near the source of the heat tend to become less dense and expand outward, causing currents in the fluid. When these less dense regions rise, cooler portions flow in to take their place, which are then themselves subject to heating. This current flow is called convection. Many ocean currents are convection currents caused by the uneven heating of the ocean waters by the Sun. Radiation transmits heat in the form of electromagnetic waves, especially infrared waves, which have a lower frequency than visible light but a higher frequency than microwaves. Atoms and molecules in a substance struck by such radiation readily absorb the energy from these waves, thereby increasing their own kinetic energy and thus the temperature of the substance.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

conduction in Culture


Transfer of energy through a medium (for example, heat or electricity through metal) without any apparent change in the medium.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.