based on deduction from accepted premises, as in deductive argument; deductive reasoning.

Origin of deductive

First recorded in 1640–50, deductive is from the Latin word dēductīvus derivative. See deduct, -ive
Related formsde·duc·tive·ly, adverbnon·de·duc·tive, adjectivenon·de·duc·tive·ly, adverbun·de·duc·tive, adjectiveun·de·duc·tive·ly, adverb

Usage note

Deductive and inductive refer to two distinct logical processes. Deductive reasoning is a logical process in which a conclusion drawn from a set of premises contains no more information than the premises taken collectively. All dogs are animals; this is a dog; therefore, this is an animal: The truth of the conclusion is dependent only on the method. All men are apes; this is a man; therefore, this is an ape: The conclusion is logically true, although the premise is absurd. Inductive reasoning is a logical process in which a conclusion is proposed that contains more information than the observations or experience on which it is based. Every crow ever seen was black; all crows are black: The truth of the conclusion is verifiable only in terms of future experience and certainty is attainable only if all possible instances have been examined. In the example, there is no certainty that a white crow will not be found tomorrow, although past experience would make such an occurrence seem unlikely. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deductive

Historical Examples of deductive

  • You often show yourself without any faculty of deductive reasoning.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • Was this some more of her deductive reasoning, or had Cummings dropped a hint?

  • This form of reasoning is deductive, that is, it proceeds from the general to the particular.

    The Mind and Its Education

    George Herbert Betts

  • It was a deductive and not an inductive process, by which he arrived at his theology.

    A Tour of the Missions

    Augustus Hopkins Strong

  • In mathematical and deductive science, of course, it is quite otherwise.

British Dictionary definitions for deductive



of or relating to deductiondeductive reasoning
Derived Formsdeductively, adverb
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 deductive

1640s, from Latin deductivus, from deduct-, past participle stem of deducere "to deduce" (see deduce). Related: Deductively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper