late 14c., "advancement toward the grace of God;" also (c. 1400) "formal installation of a clergyman," from Old French induction (14c.) or directly from Latin inductionem (nominative inductio) "a leading in, introduction, admission," noun of action from past participle stem of inducere "to lead" (see induce).
As a term in logic (early 15c.) it is from Cicero's use of inductio to translate Greek epagoge "leading to" in Aristotle. Induction starts with known instances and arrives at generalizations; deduction starts from the general principle and arrives at some individual fact. As a term in physics, in reference to electrical influence, 1801; military service sense is from 1934, American English. Related: Inductional.