The word seduce was first used in 1477 CE, preceding the word seduction by about a century. Back then, there was no standard spelling, so forms like seduyse, seducit, and sedoussit were common. The term also did not have the same definition as today - it originally referred specifically to vassals deserting political allegiance, and the meaning of "entice into sexual relations" didn't show up until the 1550s. It all comes from the Latin word seducere, meaning "lead away". The root there is ducere, or "to lead" (which, through Proto-Italic douko, is thought to derive from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction dewk, which could mean "pull" or "draw"), and the se- part meant "without" or "away" (from PIE swe, "self"). Seduce has been increasing in literary usage since a low point in the 1910s.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.