late 14c., "act of bringing into existence," from Old French introduccion (14c.) and directly from Latin introductionem (nominative introductio) "a leading in," noun of action from past participle stem of introducere "to lead in, bring in; introduce; found, establish; bring forward (as an assertion)," from intro- "inward, to the inside" (see intro-) + ducere "to lead," from PIE root *deuk- "to lead."
Meanings "initial instruction in a subject" and "an introductory statement" are from mid-15c.; meaning "elementary treatise on some subject" is from 1520s. The sense of "formal presentation of one person to another" is from 1711.