See also: réductive



From Middle French réductif, from 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 derogatory) That reduces an argument, issue etc. to its most basic terms; simplistic, reductionist. [from 20th c.]


Derived termsEdit