in·​duce·​ment | \ in-ˈdüs-mənt How to pronounce inducement (audio) , -ˈdyüs- \

Definition of inducement

1 : a motive or consideration that leads one to action or to additional or more effective actions
2 : the act or process of inducing
3 : matter presented by way of introduction or background to explain the principal allegations of a legal cause, plea, or defense

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Choose the Right Synonym for inducement

motive, impulse, incentive, inducement, spur, goad mean a stimulus to action. motive implies an emotion or desire operating on the will and causing it to act. a motive for the crime impulse suggests a driving power arising from personal temperament or constitution. buying on impulse incentive applies to an external influence (such as an expected reward) inciting to action. a bonus was offered as an incentive inducement suggests a motive prompted by the deliberate enticements or allurements of another. offered a watch as an inducement to subscribe spur applies to a motive that stimulates the faculties or increases energy or ardor. fear was a spur to action goad suggests a motive that keeps one going against one's will or desire. thought insecurity a goad to worker efficiency

Examples of inducement in a Sentence

Was his decision influenced by any illegal financial inducements? Employees were offered a bonus as an inducement to finish the project on schedule. The low interest rate was little inducement for individuals to save money.
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Recent Examples on the Web Researchers typically offer volunteers money to cover time and travel expenses but the amount cannot be substantial enough to seem like an inducement. New York Times, "To Get Their Lives Back, Teens Volunteer for Vaccine Trials," 16 Feb. 2021 Art is a carrot, not a stick, the smile-inducing sculpture insists — an inducement for contemplation and, sometimes, even a sweet bribe for tolerance and understanding. Los Angeles Times, "What would Baldessari do? A good question for the end of a terrible year," 7 Dec. 2020 These reasons for opposing this vanguard of Warren/Sanders/Harris socialism, for objecting to this doddering culmination of a half-century of hackery and blarney, elicit varying degrees of disqualification and rage-inducement. Jack Fowler, National Review, "Biden, Never," 30 Oct. 2020 David Dibo, the city’s economic development director, has said the sales tax inducement was to help the company with the relocation. Steve Lord,, "Aurora OKs sales tax rebate for company intending to move to old Cub Foods site," 30 Oct. 2020 Being $200,000 in debt can be a powerful inducement to say yes when Big Pharma and the medical device industry come calling. Carolyn Barber, Fortune, "My cancer might be back—and I wonder if unnecessary radiation caused it in the first place," 22 Sep. 2020 In that context, the $330 million figure is being offered as an inducement to allow Sudan to move forward. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "US offers a way off terrorism list. Is price right for Sudanese?," 2 Sep. 2020 Even when participants aren’t directly harmed by a drug or vaccine trial, simply siting the trial in a developing country can invoke uncomfortable questions about power and inducement. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, "Where Should Covid-19 Vaccines Be Tested? It's a Moving Target," 1 July 2020 Such an upgrade is tremendously expensive, prohibitively so without inducement. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Cathy Zhang, STAT, "Learning from Taiwan about responding to Covid-19 — and using electronic health records," 30 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inducement.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inducement

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for inducement

Time Traveler

The first known use of inducement was in 1594

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Statistics for inducement

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inducement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for inducement



English Language Learners Definition of inducement

formal : something that gives you a reason for doing something and makes you want to do it


in·​duce·​ment | \ in-ˈdüs-mənt How to pronounce inducement (audio) , -ˈdyüs- \

Kids Definition of inducement

: something that causes someone to do something Employees were offered inducements to retire early.


in·​duce·​ment | \ in-ˈdüs-mənt, -ˈdyüs- How to pronounce inducement (audio) \

Legal Definition of inducement

1 : factual matter presented by way of introduction or background to explain the principal allegations of a legal cause (as of slander or libel) — compare innuendo
2 : a significant offer or act that promises or encourages the inducements amounted to entrapment

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Comments on inducement

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