verb de·duce \di-ˈdüs, dē-; chiefly British -ˈdyüs\

Definition of deduce



  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to determine by deduction; specifically :  to infer from a general principle

  3. 2 :  to trace the course of


play \-ˈd(y)ü-sə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of deduce in a sentence

  1. <I can deduce from the simple observation of your behavior that you're trying to hide something from me.>

Origin and Etymology of deduce

Middle English, from Latin deducere, literally, to lead away, from de- + ducere to lead — more at tow

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of deduce

infer, deduce, conclude, judge, gather mean to arrive at a mental conclusion. infer implies arriving at a conclusion by reasoning from evidence; if the evidence is slight, the term comes close to surmise <from that remark, I inferred that they knew each other>. deduce often adds to infer the special implication of drawing a particular inference from a generalization <denied we could deduce anything important from human mortality>. conclude implies arriving at a necessary inference at the end of a chain of reasoning <concluded that only the accused could be guilty>. judge stresses a weighing of the evidence on which a conclusion is based <judge people by their actions>. gather suggests an intuitive forming of a conclusion from implications <gathered their desire to be alone without a word>.

Sir Thomas More is the first writer known to have used both infer and imply in their approved senses (1528). He is also the first to have used infer in a sense close in meaning to imply (1533). Both of these uses of infer coexisted without comment until some time around the end of World War I. Since then, senses 3 and 4 of infer have been frequently condemned as an undesirable blurring of a useful distinction. The actual blurring has been done by the commentators. Sense 3, descended from More's use of 1533, does not occur with a personal subject. When objections arose, they were to a use with a personal subject (now sense 4). Since dictionaries did not recognize this use specifically, the objectors assumed that sense 3 was the one they found illogical, even though it had been in respectable use for four centuries. The actual usage condemned was a spoken one never used in logical discourse. At present sense 4 is found in print chiefly in letters to the editor and other informal prose, not in serious intellectual writing. The controversy over sense 4 has apparently reduced the frequency of use of sense 3.

DEDUCE Defined for English Language Learners


verb de·duce \di-ˈdüs, dē-; chiefly British -ˈdyüs\

Definition of deduce for English Language Learners

  • : to use logic or reason to form (a conclusion or opinion about something) : to decide (something) after thinking about the known facts

DEDUCE Defined for Kids


verb de·duce \di-ˈdüs, -ˈdyüs\

Definition of deduce for Students



  1. :  to figure out by using reason or logic <What can we deduce from the evidence?>

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