What does adducing mean?

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Increase your vocabulary and you’ll make your writing much more precise. That’s why I provide a word of the week. Today’s word: adducing.

When I don’t know a word I enjoy guessing at its meaning. My husband is better at this than I am because of his scientific training, which exposed him to a lot of Latin. So many English words have Latin roots that any familiarity with this language is often extraordinarily helpful.

When I encountered the word adducing in the novel The Child In Time by Ian McEwan, I didn’t know what it meant. Here is how he used it:

The head [of school] was turning pages, adducing fresh evidence. 

My first guess? It had something to do with the word adding. When I looked it up in a regular dictionary, I discovered, to my surprise, that it meant to bring forward in argument or as evidence or to cite as pertinent or conclusive. Then I turned to my etymological dictionary. Sure enough, Latin would have helped me.

It comes from the Latin adducere, meaning  “to lead to, bring to, bring along,” from ad- “to” + ducere, meaning “to lead.” Interestingly, the verb to add (my first guess) comes from the Latin past participle stem of addere, a different word entirely, although the beginning ad- is the same.