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 inclinational (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 Talk a little bit about the climate and the inclination to do these projects. Shauna Stuart |, al, "‘We have to change it’: Birmingham pastry chefs on baking for social justice," 26 June 2020 If the public’s increasing appetite for single-use plastic worries environmentalists, then so too does its diminishing inclination to recycle materials that can be reused. The Economist, "Sea of troubles Covid-19 has led to a pandemic of plastic pollution," 22 June 2020 Many still believed, because of the negative publicity and Bazbaz’s initial inclination to point fingers at Lizette and Mauricio, that the parents were allegedly involved in their little girl’s death somehow. Gina Vaynshteyn,, "Netflix’s The Search Tells Of One Of Mexico’s Most Devastating True Crime Stories," 16 June 2020 The facility is suited for polar or high-inclination orbits due to its location. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Virgin Orbit flight ends quickly, Netflix’s hybrid rocket," 29 May 2020 The inclination to accommodate extended family grows stronger during economic downturns, and became even more appealing to people who have been sheltering in place with elderly parents and adult children who returned from college or lost their jobs. oregonlive, "NFL Drew Bledsoe’s $20 million Bend estate had it all. Why did it take 7 years to sell at $5.6 million?," 13 June 2020 For now, Chinese officials show little inclination to undertake such a voyage. The Economist, "The 24-body problem The yuan has been one of the world’s most stable major currencies," 11 June 2020 Gleeson said the court can and should deny the motion, despite the court's inclination to defer to prosecutors. Clare Hymes, CBS News, "Retired judge says court should reject "preposterous" DOJ move to drop Flynn case," 10 June 2020 The inclination for most of them is to play it safe. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Will Muschamp, Lane Kiffin join protesters; that's often a recipe for blowback among college coaches," 8 June 2020

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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Statistics for inclination

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inclination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for inclination


How to pronounce inclination (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inclination

: a feeling of wanting to do something : a tendency to do something
: a slanting surface
: 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

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