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 with ingratiate 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

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 include negotiating with boards, ingratiating oneself and the ensemble to donors, and talking with reporters. Maya Chung, The New York Review of Books, "When Women Take the Baton," 26 Mar. 2019 Though Centri’s plans are still aspirational, the company is ingratiating itself with city leaders., "Political ties may yield taxpayer boost for private housing developers in Portland," 30 July 2019 No one admits that booking events there is an effort to ingratiate themselves with the president, but the look is at best unseemly. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Border Patrol Foundation moved its 2018 fundraiser to Trump’s hotel," 19 July 2019 Scenes like those from Thursday night certainly won’t ingratiate Allen with his new team or its fans. Chuck Schilken,, "Grayson Allen ejected after two flagrant fouls — but at least he didn’t trip anyone," 12 July 2019 Piers Morgan’s objections to Megan Rapinoe’s striking a pose after scoring against France can probably be written off as a transparent attempt to ingratiate himself with President Trump. Rory Smith, New York Times, "With No Argument on Substance, Critics Take Aim at U.S.’s Style," 6 July 2019 Trump has, in the past week, said and done several things that concretely undermine the US’s relationship with Western Europe while at the same time ingratiating himself with Putin. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The Trump-Putin meeting reveals how Trump is killing American power.," 16 July 2018 This prompted some eye-rolling from one attendee, who suggested that country programmers may have become spoiled by the genre’s super-ingratiating stars, who make a special point to thank radio at every award show. Emily Yahr, Washington Post, "Why Kacey Musgraves, who keeps winning awards, still can’t get a country radio hit," 6 June 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

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for ingratiate

The first known use of ingratiate was in 1621

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More Definitions for ingratiate



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).


to shake or wave menacingly

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