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See also: réductive



From Middle French réductif, and its source, Late Latin reductivus, from the participle stem of Latin reducere(to reduce).



reductive ‎(comparative more reductive, superlative most reductive)

  1. (Scotland law, now rare) Pertaining to the reduction of a decree etc.; rescissory. [from 16th c.]
  2. Causing the physical reduction or diminution of something. [from 17th c.]
  3. (chemistry, metallurgy, biology) That reduces a substance etc. to a more simple or basic form. [from 17th c.]
    • 1848, F Knapp, Chemical Technology; Or, Chemistry Applied to the Arts and to Manufactures:
      On the relative reductive powers of different classes of American coals, as demonstrated by the experiments with oxide of lead.
    • 2013 March 1, Harold J. Morowitz, “The Smallest Cell”, in American Scientist[1], volume 101, number 2, page 83:
      It is likely that the long evolutionary trajectory of Mycoplasma went from a reductive autotroph to oxidative heterotroph to a cell-wall–defective degenerate parasite. This evolutionary trajectory assumes the simplicity to complexity route of biogenesis, a point of view that is not universally accepted.
  4. (now rare, historical) That can be derived from, or referred back to, something else. [from 17th c.]
    • 1847, John Johnson, The theological works of the rev. John Johnson:
      But then beside the primary and direct sense of the text, the ancients commonly supposed that there was a reductive or anagogical meaning, in which it might be taken.
  5. (now frequently pejorative) That reduces an argument, issue etc. to its most basic terms; simplistic, reductionist. [from 20th c.]

Derived terms[edit]