con·​duce kən-ˈdüs How to pronounce conduce (audio)
conduced; conducing

intransitive verb

: to lead or tend to a particular and often desirable result : contribute

Word History


Middle English conducen "to guide, lead," borrowed from Latin condūcere "to bring together, join, hire, be of advantage, be conducive (to)" (Medieval Latin also "to lead, escort, provide a channel for [water]"), from con- con- + dūcere "to lead, conduct, take (to a place)" — more at tow entry 1

Note: In Vulgar, i.e., spoken Latin, the verb condūcere took on the basic senses of the simplex dūcere, which gradually faded from use, so that the Romance progeny of condūcere (as French conduire, Italian condurre, Spanish conducir, etc.) came to mean primarily "to lead, conduct." This shift in sense also exerted considerable influence on the meaning of Latin condūcere and its derivatives as employed in Medieval Latin.

First Known Use

1528, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of conduce was in 1528

Dictionary Entries Near conduce

Cite this Entry

“Conduce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


con·​duce kən-ˈd(y)üs How to pronounce conduce (audio)
conduced; conducing
: to lead or tend to a usually desirable result
conduciveness noun
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