in·cli·na·tion | \ ˌin-klə-ˈnā-shən , ˌiŋ- \

Definition of inclination 

1a obsolete : natural disposition : character

b : a particular disposition of mind or character : propensity especially : liking had little inclination for housekeeping

2 : an act or the action of bending or inclining: such as

a : bow, nod

b : a tilting of something

3a : 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

4 : a tendency to a particular aspect, state, character, or action the clutch has an inclination to slip

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Other words from inclination

inclinational \ˌin-klə-ˈnā-shnəl, -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

This has been a tournament in which individuals who play as individuals, whether through inclination or thorough the dependency of teammates, have failed. Jonathan Wilson,, "Luka Modric's Croatia Success Story Comes With Complications," 13 July 2018 But Russian toddlers’ inclination to express positive emotions had no such relationship to self-control. Samuel Putnam, Washington Post, "Russians don’t smile much, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like you," 30 June 2018 Meanwhile, the marginal applicant who has the aptitude and inclination but perhaps not had the opportunity yet to prove himself or herself would get crowded out. Byline,, "Should Massachusetts drop tuition and fees for in-state students at its public colleges and universities?," 1 June 2018 More recently, a cohort of younger women has been redefining their profession to suit their personalities and inclinations. Justin Davidson, The Cut, "What Would a World Designed by Women Look Like?," 20 Mar. 2018 It is not known what the course of action will be when the right-hander is healthy, especially considering the team’s inclination to see a number of younger pitchers in the season’s final months. Kevin Acee,, "Padres notes: Stammen runs into Utley; Lauer's limit; Lyles' rehab," 13 July 2018 Trump's natural inclination to return fire to any slight or accusation broadcast on cable news was sorely tested by the content of Thursday's interview. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Interview on alleged affair tests Trump's vow of silence," 23 Mar. 2018 During the reign of a historically dominant behemoth, which is exactly what the Warriors are, there is a natural inclination to believe that the pursuits of 29 other franchises are pointless. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Doomed or not, Rockets take their shot," 21 May 2018 When Schubert has spoken about the Clark case, her inclination to subsume her emotions has come across as evasion to protesters. Marcos Bretón, sacbee, "East Area Rapist, the case that haunted a prosecutor – until now," 27 Apr. 2018

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 1a

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Statistics for inclination

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inclination

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

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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

: 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 \

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- \

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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Comments on inclination

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characteristic trappings or dress

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