Definition of ingratiate
: to gain favor or favorable acceptance for by deliberate effort —usually used with with ingratiate themselves with the community leaders — William Attwood
ingratiationplay \in-ˌgrā-shē-ˈā-shən\ noun
ingratiatoryplay \in-ˈgrā-sh(ē-)ə-ˌtȯr-ē\ adjective
ingratiate was our Word of the Day on 08/13/2009. Hear the podcast!
Recent Examples of ingratiate from the Web
Suspicious social engineering calls usually involve a knowledgeable individual phoning the target organization and ingratiating himself with an employee of the department or agency.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ingratiate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Seventeenth-century English speakers combined the Latin noun gratia, meaning "grace" or "favor," with the English prefix in- to create the verb "ingratiate." When you ingratiate yourself, you are putting yourself in someone's good graces to gain their approval or favor. English words related to "ingratiate" include "gratis" and "gratuity." Both of these reflect something done or given as a favor through the good graces of the giver.
Origin and Etymology of ingratiate
2in- + Latin gratia grace
First Known Use: 1621See Words from the same year
INGRATIATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ingratiate for English Language Learners
: to gain favor or approval for (yourself) by doing or saying things that people like
INGRATIATE Defined for Kids
Definition of ingratiate for Students
: to gain favor for by effort He ingratiates himself with teachers by being helpful.
Word Root of ingratiate
The Latin word gratus, meaning “pleasing” or “thankful,” gives us the root grat. Words from the Latin gratus have something to do with being pleasing or being thankful. To ingratiate yourself is to make others feel thankful for something you've done. To feel grateful is to feel thankful for something. Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness. To congratulate is to express how pleasing someone's success is.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up ingratiate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).