in·​still | \ in-ˈstil How to pronounce instill (audio) \
instilled; instilling; instills

Definition of instill

transitive verb

1 : to cause to enter drop by drop instill medication into the infected eye
2 : to impart gradually instilling a love of learning in children

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Other Words from instill

instillation \ ˌin(t)-​stə-​ˈlā-​shən How to pronounce instillation (audio) , -​(ˌ)sti-​ \ noun
instiller \ in-​ˈsti-​lər How to pronounce instiller (audio) \ noun
instillment \ in-​ˈstil-​mənt How to pronounce instillment (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for instill

implant, inculcate, instill, inseminate, infix mean to introduce into the mind. implant implies teaching that makes for permanence of what is taught. implanted a love of reading in her students inculcate implies persistent or repeated efforts to impress on the mind. tried to inculcate in him high moral standards instill stresses gradual, gentle imparting of knowledge over a long period of time. instill traditional values in your children inseminate applies to a sowing of ideas in many minds so that they spread through a class or nation. inseminated an unquestioning faith in technology infix stresses firmly inculcating a habit of thought. infixed a chronic cynicism

Examples of instill in a Sentence

a charismatic leader who instilled in his followers a passionate commitment to the cause
Recent Examples on the Web Long ago, the Heat instilled a culture, one built on low-maintenance guys who play hard, the right way, make the extra pass and buy into the team-first mentality. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Larry Nance Jr. continues evolution into multifaceted offensive threat," 30 Nov. 2019 His children remember him as a kind, caring father who instilled in them the values of hard work, compassion, and the importance of family., "Julio Cardoso," 27 Nov. 2019 From an early age my dad instilled in me a love and respect of the land, plants, animals, and people. Priya Krishna, Bon Appétit, "3 Indigenous Chefs Talk About What Thanksgiving Means to Them," 25 Nov. 2019 Her father, an amateur snapper, instilled in her a love of photography. The Economist, "From Beyoncé to the big screen: the whirlwind rise of Melina Matsoukas," 22 Nov. 2019 Parents have a significant impact on instilling the value of giving. Anna Bahney, CNN, "America's political climate is spurring the richest 5% to donate more," 20 Nov. 2019 One of the most beloved American television series has changed a lot since premiering on November 9, 1969, but in fantastic news, one thing hasn't: its core mission of teaching children and instilling in them a love of learning. Ani Bundel, Ars Technica, "The best science and math moments in Sesame Street’s first 50 years," 9 Nov. 2019 Pierce also said that Meghan's mom, Doria Ragland, likely instilled in her daughter the necessary tools to deal with life in the spotlight. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Former Suits Costar Says Doria Ragland Helped Meghan Markle Prepare for the "Ugly Side of Human Nature"," 29 Oct. 2019 The couple have instilled in their six children and three grandchildren traditional ways, such as living off the land, AFN said. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "AFN declares ‘state of emergency’ for climate change," 20 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instill.' 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 instill

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for instill

Middle English, from Latin instillare, from in- + stillare to drip, from stilla drop

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Time Traveler for instill

Time Traveler

The first known use of instill was in the 15th century

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Statistics for instill

Last Updated

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Instill.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for instill


How to pronounce instill (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of instill

: to gradually cause someone to have (an attitude, feeling, etc.)


in·​still | \ in-ˈstil How to pronounce instill (audio) \
instilled; instilling

Kids Definition of instill

: to put into the mind little by little Patience with the ways of nature had been instilled in her by her father.— Jean Craighead George, Julie of the Wolves
in·​still | \ in-ˈstil How to pronounce instill (audio) \
instilled; instilling

Medical Definition of instill

: to cause to enter especially drop by drop instill medication into the infected eye

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More from Merriam-Webster on instill

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for instill

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with instill

Spanish Central: Translation of instill

Nglish: Translation of instill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instill for Arabic Speakers

Comments on instill

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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