in·​gra·​ti·​ate in-ˈgrā-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce ingratiate (audio)
ingratiated; ingratiating

transitive verb

: to gain favor or favorable acceptance for by deliberate effort
usually used with with
ingratiate themselves with the community leadersWilliam Attwood
ingratiation noun
ingratiatory adjective

Did you know?

When you ingratiate yourself, you put yourself in someone’s good graces in order to gain their approval or favor. While the word ingratiate does not necessarily imply that your behavior is obsequious or otherwise improper, the word may be used disapprovingly by those who distrust your motives. The word entered English in the early 1600s from the combining of the Latin noun gratia, meaning “grace” or “favor,” with the English prefix in-. Gratia comes from the adjective gratus, meaning “pleasing, grateful.” Gratus has, over the centuries, ingratiated itself well with the English language as the ancestor of a whole host of words including gratuitous, congratulate, and grace.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Her Bach performances were ingratiating in their musicality and dazzling in their easy virtuosity. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Apr. 2023 After pulling a Single White Female, Ingrid starts ingratiating herself into Taylor's life, blurring the lines between social media and reality. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 Apr. 2023 To ingratiate themselves, a potential buyer promises to care for an established garden or maintain the design of an architectural home. oregonlive, 6 Aug. 2021 Wiletta’s progression from a woman trying to school a younger Black actor on how to ingratiate himself to white people, like Manners, who can make or break his career to a woman threatening to leave the production if her role continues to traffic in such offensive and absurd racial stereotypes. New York Times, 27 Dec. 2021 TikTok is leaning on the aggressive playbook of its American peers in an attempt to ingratiate itself with Capitol Hill. Cristiano Lima, Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2023 As has been widely reported—only now with a critical eye—Silicon Valley Bank was not only the bank of choice among Silicon Valley companies, but an ingratiating cheerleader for startup culture. Steven Levy, WIRED, 17 Mar. 2023 Democrats have demanded that Santos, a Long Island Republican elected in November, resign or be expelled for making up numerous stories about his life to ingratiate himself with voters, but his ultimate fate rests in the hands of the House GOP leadership. Steven T. Dennis,, 3 Jan. 2023 At the same time, Mr. Guo was trying to ingratiate himself with the Trump administration. Michael Forsythe, New York Times, 15 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ingratiate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


in- entry 2 + Latin gratia grace

First Known Use

1621, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ingratiate was in 1621


Dictionary Entries Near ingratiate

Cite this Entry

“Ingratiate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​gra·​ti·​ate in-ˈgrā-shē-ˌāt How to pronounce ingratiate (audio)
ingratiated; ingratiating
: to gain favor or acceptance for by deliberate effort
quickly ingratiated herself with her new pupils
ingratiation noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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