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 ingratiate (audio) \ noun
ingratiatory \ in-​ˈgrā-​sh(ē-​)ə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce ingratiate (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 Since then, the hotel has become a meeting spot for diplomats, lobbyists, and others seeking to ingratiate themselves with the President. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "The Next Big Challenge: Trump-Proofing the Presidency," 29 Dec. 2020 If installing general officers as defense secretary becomes the norm, senior military leaders may try to ingratiate themselves with one political party or another in the hopes of securing a powerful appointment. Mike Gallagher, WSJ, "No More Generals Atop the Pentagon," 20 Dec. 2020 This is the latest move by Spotify to ingratiate itself into the songwriting community this year. Micah Singleton, Billboard, "Songwriters Hub Comes to Spotify: 'A Lot of Times We Get the Short End of the Stick'," 17 Dec. 2020 O’Hare Airport knows how to ingratiate itself with Joe Biden’s choice for transportation secretary, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Maureen Groppe, USA TODAY, "Thanks to Pete Buttigieg, O'Hare Airport is now calling itself a 'place of romance'," 16 Dec. 2020 Depriving the president’s reprehensible commentary of oxygen, moreover, is a great way for the media to ingratiate themselves with the incoming Biden administration. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "The Media Is Finally Tuning Trump Out," 3 Dec. 2020 That followed months of Trump using increasingly hostile language toward the network, which had long tried to ingratiate itself with the White House with fawning coverage. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "Trump could launch his own Fox News competitor, but it won’t be easy," 9 Nov. 2020 When the winner is announced in a U.S. presidential election, foreign leaders often rush to offer their congratulations and ingratiate themselves with America’s next leader. Miriam Berger, Washington Post, "Foreign leaders rushed to congratulate George W. Bush in 2000. This time, they’re being extra-cautious.," 6 Nov. 2020 Camp has often been associated with queerness, and Sontag made the case that this was because gay people sought to ingratiate themselves with a society that saw them as dangerous. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Donald Trump’s Reelection Campaign Is Total Camp," 30 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for ingratiate

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The first known use of ingratiate was in 1621

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ingratiate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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