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[dih-duhk-tiv] /dɪˈdʌk tɪv/
based on deduction from accepted premises, as in deductive argument; deductive reasoning.
Origin of deductive
1640-50; < Latin dēductīvus derivative. See deduct, -ive
Related forms
deductively, adverb
nondeductive, adjective
nondeductively, adverb
undeductive, adjective
undeductively, adverb
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for deductive reasoning
Historical Examples
  • The several steps of deductive reasoning shall now be considered in turn as we proceed.

    The Art of Logical Thinking William Walker Atkinson
  • deductive reasoning proceeds by discovering particular truths from general truths.

    The Art of Logical Thinking William Walker Atkinson
  • But what it could all portend was a problem beyond the power of my imagination or deductive reasoning.

  • As we have said, deductive reasoning is the process of discovering particular truths from a general truth.

    The Art of Logical Thinking William Walker Atkinson
  • The general truths which are used as the basis of deductive reasoning are discovered in several ways.

    The Art of Logical Thinking William Walker Atkinson
  • Thus by deductive reasoning we get some insight into the method of organization.

  • Similarly, by detecting likenesses, a knowledge of deductive reasoning is acquired.

    Solaris Farm Milan C. Edson
  • Logicians generally distinguish between two branches of their science, inductive and deductive reasoning.

    The Making of Arguments J. H. Gardiner
  • It applies to both inductive and deductive reasoning, and is the form in which these processes are presented.

    The Art of Logical Thinking William Walker Atkinson
  • One may develop his faculty or power of deductive reasoning by pursuing certain lines of study.

    Thought-Culture William Walker Atkinson
British Dictionary definitions for deductive reasoning


of or relating to deduction: deductive reasoning
Derived Forms
deductively, 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
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Word Origin and History for deductive reasoning



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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