in·​duce | \ in-ˈdüs How to pronounce induce (audio) , -ˈdyüs \
induced; inducing

Essential Meaning of induce

1 somewhat formal : to cause (someone or something) to do something The advertisement is meant to induce people to eat more fruit. No one knows what induced him to leave.
2 : to cause (something) to happen or exist medication to induce vomiting Her illness was induced by overwork. See More Examplesdrug-induced sleep a stress-induced illnessHide
3 medical : to give (a pregnant woman) special medicine in order to make her give birth The mother was induced. : to cause (labor or birth) to begin by giving special drugs to a pregnant woman They will induce labor to avoid complications.

Full Definition of induce

transitive verb

1a : to move by persuasion or influence
b : to call forth or bring about by influence or stimulation
2a : effect, cause
b : to cause the formation of
c : to produce by induction induce an electric current
3 : to determine by induction specifically : to infer from particulars

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Inducing is usually gentle persuasion; you may, for instance, induce a friend to go to a concert, or induce a child to stop crying. An inducement is something that might lure you to do something, though inducements are occasionally a bit menacing, like the Godfather's offer that you can't refuse. Induce also sometimes means "produce;" thus, doctors must at times induce labor in a pregnant woman. Notice that induct and induction are somewhat different from induce and inducement, though they come from the identical roots.

Examples of induce in a Sentence

The advertisement is meant to induce people to eat more fruit. No one knows what induced him to leave. Her illness was induced by overwork. They will induce labor to avoid complications.
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Recent Examples on the Web These vaccines also induce production of B-cells and helper T-cells, which lie in wait. Steve Brozak, Forbes, 21 Oct. 2021 May induce: nausea, slight fever, and hallucinations. Elena Nicolaou,, 11 Oct. 2021 The conversation prompted calls by Democrats for Trump to be prosecuted for illegally trying to induce state officials to commit voter fraud. Michael D. Shear,, 4 Jan. 2021 For his part, Tian plans to run experiments with warmed tanks of beetles and mollusks, actively trying to induce color changes. Sam Kean, Science | AAAS, 30 Dec. 2020 The chronic pressure forces on the skin induce the development of tender, red, acne bumps on the skin under the mask. Erica Metzger, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Sep. 2021 Those who have mutations either in the interferon genes themselves or the pathways that induce interferon are more likely to fall ill. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 Latex beds aren't known for being affordable, but the GhostBed Classic combines synthetic latex with memory foam at a price point that won't induce sticker shock. Katie Simpson,, 3 Sep. 2021 Beyond any cases that may have made it to trial, the threat of introducing laboratory evidence can induce plea agreements, Gilleran said. James Whitlow,, 19 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'induce.' 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 induce

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for induce

Middle English, from Anglo-French inducer, from Latin inducere, from in- + ducere to lead — more at tow entry 1

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Time Traveler for induce

Time Traveler

The first known use of induce was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near induce



induced development

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Last Updated

24 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Induce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for induce


in·​duce | \ in-ˈdüs How to pronounce induce (audio) , -ˈdyüs \
induced; inducing

Kids Definition of induce

1 : to cause to do something Her pleas induced us to give.
2 : to bring about Warm milk induces sleepiness.
3 : to produce (as an electric current) by induction


transitive verb
in·​duce | \ in-ˈd(y)üs How to pronounce induce (audio) \
induced; inducing

Medical Definition of induce

1 : to cause or bring about anesthesia induced by drugs : as
a(1) : to cause the embryological formation of the optic cup induces lens tissue in the adjacent ectoderm
(2) : to cause to form through embryonic induction induce ectoderm to form a neural tube
b : to cause or initiate by artificial means induced abortion induced labor
2 : to produce anesthesia in the patient was induced by a mixture of thiopental and curare

More from Merriam-Webster on induce

Nglish: Translation of induce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of induce for Arabic Speakers


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