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.

Examples of ingratiate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As Purdy further ingratiates himself with the Bay Area community, that effort should not be overlooked or minimized. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 15 Apr. 2024 Zuckerberg and Chan have made attempts to ingratiate themselves with the locals, contributing significantly to charities, community support programs, and Covid-19 and disaster relief efforts, but, Wired reports, tension remains. Mackenzie Schmidt, Peoplemag, 15 Dec. 2023 That management style did not ingratiate himself with employees at Time Warner’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters. Chris Kornelis, New York Times, 14 Mar. 2024 Tranter is also working hard to ingratiate themself to the Academy, including the thankless task of hosting the Grammys pre-show. Vulture, 1 Feb. 2024 That forthright emotion is ingratiating, yet happily, these same skills also are evident in lighter material, such as a new song about her fervent desire that her ex be murdered by his new girlfriend. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rolling Stone, 17 Mar. 2024 Zaheer was a serious under-the-radar threat, ingratiating himself with everyone while secretly masterminding several big votes post-merge. Ben Rosenstock, TIME, 26 Feb. 2024 The first episode kicks off with the couple’s latest plan, which is to flip houses and convert them into eco-friendly homes for the struggling residents of Española, New Mexico, all for their new reality show being overseen by an ingratiating producer (Safdie) with demons of his own. Anna Tingley, Variety, 10 Nov. 2023 The bird, without sauce, is an ingratiating bite, fragrant and slightly sweet with star anise, cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023

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 21 May. 2024.

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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