in·​cli·​na·​tion | \ ˌin-klə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce inclination (audio) , ˌiŋ- \

Definition of inclination

1 : a tendency to a particular aspect, state, character, or action the clutch has an inclination to slip
2a : a deviation from the true vertical or horizontal : slant also : the degree of such deviation
b : an inclined surface : slope
c(1) : the angle determined by two lines or planes
(2) : the angle made by a line with the x-axis measured counterclockwise from the positive direction of that axis
3 : an act or the action of bending or inclining: such as
a : bow, nod
b : a tilting of something
4a : a particular disposition of mind or character : propensity especially : liking had little inclination for housekeeping
b obsolete : natural disposition : character

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Other Words from inclination

inclinational \ ˌin-​klə-​ˈnā-​shnəl How to pronounce inclination (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , ˌiŋ-​ \ adjective

Examples of inclination in a Sentence

She shows no inclination to give in to their demands. He's a loner by inclination. My first inclination was to say no, but I finally decided to do what she asked. I have neither the time nor the inclination to learn about such matters.
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Recent Examples on the Web Initially, there was a political inclination to blame wind power for the electricity generation failure. Llewellyn King, Forbes, 10 June 2021 Indonesians in particular have already shown a strong inclination toward commercial air travel. Jordan Mcgillis, National Review, 29 Apr. 2021 But as potentially great as Bentley and Tolbert are, eventually defenses will begin to take away the deep pass if the Jaguars show no ability or inclination to run. Creg Stephenson |, al, 8 Sep. 2021 The general rule is that the privilege belongs to the nation, not to any former incumbent -- and the Biden administration has already demonstrated its inclination to waive. Norman Eisen, CNN, 29 Aug. 2021 The country’s capacity and inclination to commit resources to faraway struggles ebbed. New York Times, 17 Aug. 2021 Consulting firm Gartner has been running regular surveys that show a small but growing inclination towards requiring vaccines. NBC News, 6 Aug. 2021 But Whittingham sees it another way, and his view — whether it’s born out of archaic anxiety over the possibility of turnovers — always catastrophic in his mind — or a natural inclination to protect his defense — rules the day. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 July 2021 Sharon Dolovich, director of the prison law and policy program at UCLA, said that the center of gravity shift on the 9th Circuit could signal an ideological inclination toward protecting businesses that make their money performing public functions. Andrea Castillo, Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inclination.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inclination

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4b

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Time Traveler for inclination

Time Traveler

The first known use of inclination was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near inclination



inclination of an orbit

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Statistics for inclination

Last Updated

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inclination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for inclination



English Language Learners Definition of inclination

: a feeling of wanting to do something : a tendency to do something
: a slanting surface : slope
: the act of bending your head or body forward : the act of inclining your head or body


in·​cli·​na·​tion | \ ˌin-klə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce inclination (audio) \

Kids Definition of inclination

1 : an act or the action of bending or leaning
2 : a usually favorable feeling toward something His inclination was to walk rather than drive.
3 : slant entry 2, tilt a steep inclination


in·​cli·​na·​tion | \ ˌin-klə-ˈnā-shən, ˌiŋ- How to pronounce inclination (audio) \

Medical Definition of inclination

: a deviation from the true vertical or horizontal especially : the deviation of the long axis of a tooth or of the slope of a cusp from the vertical

More from Merriam-Webster on inclination

Nglish: Translation of inclination for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inclination for Arabic Speakers


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