1

ingrain

verb in·grain \ (ˌ)in-ˈgrān \
variants: or less commonly
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of ingrain

transitive verb
: to work indelibly into the natural texture or mental or moral constitution

Examples of ingrain in a Sentence

  1. the journalism professor has long ingrained his students with a deep respect for their chosen profession

  2. the third-world privation he had witnessed forever ingrained itself upon the young doctor's memory

Recent Examples of ingrain from the Web

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

First Known Use of ingrain

circa 1641

Synonym Discussion of ingrain

infuse, suffuse, imbue, ingrain, inoculate, leaven mean to introduce one thing into another so as to affect it throughout. infuse implies a pouring in of something that gives new life or significance.
    • new members infused enthusiasm into the club
suffuse implies a spreading through of something that gives an unusual color or quality.
    • a room suffused with light
imbue implies the introduction of a quality that fills and permeates the whole being.
    • imbue students with intellectual curiosity
ingrain, used only in the passive or past participle, suggests the deep implanting of a quality or trait.
    • clung to ingrained habits
inoculate implies an imbuing or implanting with a germinal idea and often suggests stealth or subtlety.
    • an electorate inoculated with dangerous ideas
leaven implies introducing something that enlivens, tempers, or markedly alters the total quality.
    • a serious play leavened with comic moments

2

ingrain

adjective in·grain \ ˈin-ˌgrān \

Definition of ingrain

1 a : made of fiber that is dyed before being spun into yarn
b : made of yarn that is dyed before being woven or knitted
2 : thoroughly worked in : innate

Examples of ingrain in a Sentence

  1. an ingrain skepticism that saves him from falling for every hoax that comes along

First Known Use of ingrain

1766


3

ingrain

noun in·grain \ ˈin-ˌgrān \

Definition of ingrain

: innate quality or character

First Known Use of ingrain

1899



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ingrain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!