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

Definition of ingratiate

transitive verb

: to gain favor or favorable acceptance for by deliberate effort usually used with withingratiate themselves with the community leaders— William Attwood

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Other Words from ingratiate

ingratiation \ in-​ˌgrā-​shē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce ingratiation (audio) \ noun
ingratiatory \ in-​ˈgrā-​sh(ē-​)ə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce ingratiatory (audio) \ adjective

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.

Examples of ingratiate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Epstein tried desperately to ingratiate himself with fellow inmates, the consultant who had spoken with inmates said. Ali Watkins,, "The last days of Jeffrey Epstein," 17 Aug. 2019 After confessing this dare to Union authorities, she was directed to take the bet in order to ingratiate herself with Southern sympathizers and feed information back to the Union. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, "The Actress Who Left the Stage to Become a Civil War Spy," 12 Aug. 2019 Nonetheless, Epstein was apparently able to amass enormous wealth and ingratiate himself with scientists and academics. Anna North, Vox, "His death doesn’t mean his story is over," 10 Aug. 2019 The only newcomer on the 13-player roster was Jason Dunham, who found possibly the best way to ingratiate himself to his new teammates. Andrew Turner, Daily Pilot, "Huntington Valley Little League repeats as state champion," 2 Aug. 2019 The move has been seen mostly as a way for the new leader to ingratiate himself to the Trump administration. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Can the U.S. Save Alcantara, Brazil’s Cursed Spaceport?," 20 Mar. 2019 The real Eli Cohen spent four extremely productive years in the Syrian capital of Damascus, and each episode of The Spy leaps ahead in time as Kamel ingratiates himself further into the upper echelons of Syrian political and military society. Kristen Baldwin,, "Sacha Baron Cohen puts his subterfuge skills to good use in Netflix's The Spy," 5 Sep. 2019 Since arriving on campus, Wilson has shown an eagerness to ingratiate himself with his new teammates and a work ethic that has impressed those around the program. Tom Green |, al, "Can grad transfer Jay Jay Wilson give Auburn versatility it has lacked at H-back?," 17 Aug. 2019 Renewal arrived in the person of Charles Monteith, a reserved, ingratiating Ulsterman and—yes—a fellow of All Souls, who had been injured in the war. Jonathan Galassi, The New Yorker, "The Unlikely History of Faber & Faber," 23 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of ingratiate

1621, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ingratiate

in- entry 2 + Latin gratia grace

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Statistics for ingratiate

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for ingratiate

The first known use of ingratiate was in 1621

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More Definitions for ingratiate


How to pronounce ingratiate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ingratiate

often disapproving : to gain favor or approval for (yourself) by doing or saying things that people like


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

Kids Definition of ingratiate

: to gain favor for by effort He ingratiates himself with teachers by being helpful.

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Comments on ingratiate

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


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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