[ in-duhk-shuhn ]
See synonyms for induction on
  1. the act of inducing, bringing about, or causing: induction of the hypnotic state.

  2. the act of inducting; introduction; initiation.

  1. formal installation in an office, benefice, or the like.

  2. Logic.

    • Also called Baconian method . any form of reasoning in which the conclusion, though supported by the premises, does not follow from them necessarily.

    • the process of estimating the validity of observations of part of a class of facts as evidence for a proposition about the whole class.

    • a conclusion reached by this process.

  3. Also called mathematical induction. Mathematics. a method of proving a given property true for a set of numbers by proving it true for 1 and then true for an arbitrary positive integer by assuming the property true for all previous positive integers and applying the principle of mathematical induction.

  4. a presentation or bringing forward, as of facts or evidence.

  5. Electricity, Magnetism. the process by which a body having electric or magnetic properties produces magnetism, an electric charge, or an electromotive force in a neighboring body without contact.: Compare electromagnetic induction, electrostatic induction.

  6. Embryology. the process or principle by which one part of the embryo influences the differentiation of another part.

  7. Biochemistry. the synthesis of an enzyme in response to an increased concentration of its substrate in the cell.

  8. an introductory unit in literary work, especially in an early play; prelude or scene independent of the main performance but related to it.

  9. Archaic. a preface.

Origin of induction

1350–1400; Middle English induccio(u)n<Latin inductiōn- (stem of inductiō). See induct, -ion

Other words from induction

  • in·duc·tion·less, adjective
  • an·ti-in·duc·tion, adjective
  • pre·in·duc·tion, noun
  • re·in·duc·tion, noun

Words that may be confused with induction

Words Nearby induction Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use induction in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for induction


/ (ɪnˈdʌkʃən) /

  1. the act of inducting or state of being inducted

  2. the act of inducing

  1. (in an internal-combustion engine) the part of the action of a piston by which mixed air and fuel are drawn from the carburettor to the cylinder

  2. logic

    • a process of reasoning, used esp in science, by which a general conclusion is drawn from a set of premises, based mainly on experience or experimental evidence. The conclusion goes beyond the information contained in the premises, and does not follow necessarily from them. Thus an inductive argument may be highly probable, yet lead from true premises to a false conclusion

    • a conclusion reached by this process of reasoning: Compare deduction (def. 4)

  3. the process by which electrical or magnetic properties are transferred, without physical contact, from one circuit or body to another: See also inductance

  4. biology the effect of one tissue, esp an embryonic tissue, on the development of an adjacent tissue

  5. biochem the process by which synthesis of an enzyme is stimulated by the presence of its substrate

  6. maths logic

    • a method of proving a proposition that all integers have a property, by first proving that 1 has the property and then that if the integer n has it so has n + 1

    • the application of recursive rules

    • a formal introduction or entry into an office or position

    • (as modifier): induction course; induction period

  7. US the formal enlistment of a civilian into military service

  8. an archaic word for preface

Derived forms of induction

  • inductional, 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

Scientific definitions for induction


[ ĭn-dŭkshən ]

    • The process of deriving general principles from particular facts or instances.

    • A conclusion reached by this process. See Note at deduction.

    • The creation of a voltage difference across a conductive material (such as a coil of wire) by exposing it to a changing magnetic field. Induction is fundamental to hydroelectric power, in which water-powered turbines spin wire coils through strong magnetic fields. It is also the working principle underlying transformers and induction coils.

    • The generation of an electric current in a conductor, such as a copper wire, by exposing it to the electric field of an electrically charged conductor.

    • The building up of a net electric charge on a conductive material by separating its charge to create two oppositely charged regions, then bleeding off the charge from one region.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for induction (1 of 2)


A process of reasoning that moves from specific instances to predict general principles. (Compare deduction.)


An effect in electrical systems in which electrical currents (see also current) store energy temporarily in magnetic fields before that energy is returned to the circuit.

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.