Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
early 15c., "action of deducting," from Middle French déduction or directly from Latin deductionem (nominative deductio), noun of action from past participle stem of deducere (see deduce). Meaning "that which is deducted" is from 1540s. As a term in logic, from Late Latin use of deductio as a loan-translation of Greek apagoge.
Our Living Language : The logical processes known as deduction and induction work in opposite ways. In deduction general principles are applied to specific instances. Thus, using a mathematical formula to figure the volume of air that can be contained in a gymnasium is applying deduction. Similarly, applying a law of physics to predict the outcome of an experiment is reasoning by deduction. By contrast, induction makes generalizations based on a number of specific instances. The observation of hundreds of examples in which a certain chemical kills plants might prompt the inductive conclusion that the chemical is toxic to all plants. Inductive generalizations are often revised as more examples are studied and more facts are known. If certain plants that have not been tested turn out to be unaffected by the chemical, the conclusion about the chemical's toxicity must be revised or restricted. In this way, an inductive generalization is much like a hypothesis.
A process of reasoning that moves from the general to the specific. (Compare induction.)
A cost or expense subtracted from revenue, usually for tax purposes.