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[dih-duhk-tiv] /dɪˈdʌk tɪv/
based on deduction from accepted premises, as in deductive argument; deductive reasoning.
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
  • Given that medicine generally uses deductive reasoning to arrive at diagnoses in complex cases.
  • deductive reasoning applies general principles to predict specific results.
  • What the expert poker player brings to the game is deductive reasoning, which allows him to evaluate this complexity.
  • The deductive reasoning required is equally sharp, if not sharper.
  • And a little deductive reasoning suggests why: ice crystals, by nature, are multi-faceted structures.
  • If my deductive reasoning holds true, the owner of the truck thinks that communists are bad people.
  • Distinguish between inductive and deductive reasoning in an argument.
  • The outline produced as an outcome of this research project was derived from the available data using deductive reasoning.
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
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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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