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 His father instilled a passion for song in his son before his death from a motorcycle wreck when Kevin was just 4. Krista Torralva,, "At a San Antonio elementary school, creative adults gave a gift of music," 19 Oct. 2019 Her mother always instilled in her that being Black was a beautiful gift to be celebrated. Shantel Holder, Essence, "Misty Copeland Talks About What It Takes To Be One Of The Most Badass Ballerinas In The World," 18 Oct. 2019 In a space previously occupied by The Denver Tea Room, at the base of an apartment complex, the Mahers have instilled a vibe that’s part Miami Vice, part Melbourne and part Palm Springs. Josie Sexton, The Know, "Vegan, vegetarian, whatever: Denver gets two new restaurants dedicated to plant-based fare," 1 Oct. 2019 Peter Fonda embodied those values and instilled them in a generation. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "Hollywood remembers 'sweet-hearted' Peter Fonda," 16 Aug. 2019 And therein lies the problem: A secretive scheme that proposes to (literally) codify credibility within a society that inherently lacks any is more likely to undermine public trust that instill it. Robert Foyle Hunwick, The New Republic, "How Do You Control 1.4 Billion People?," 25 Apr. 2018 Mykhailiuk had never practiced with the bigs, and KU had never trapped the post with guards, until the coaches instilled it on Saturday. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Kansas basketball adds to its history, and how did this all work again? | The Kansas City Star," 25 Mar. 2018 Notably, he will be remembered for his quick wit, captivating ocean blue eyes, and instilling a solid work ethic in his children., "Richard J. Michaels," 13 Sep. 2019 Entering his third season as head coach, Jones has installed an offense that fits his team and instilled a belief system that’s not easy to come by for a program that had won just 12 games (on the field) in the past 10 seasons. Matt Schubert, The Denver Post, "Colorado Prep Football Rewind: Adams City’s streak is over, watch out for Regis, Kit Carson makes a statement and more," 31 Aug. 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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Statistics for instill

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for instill

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

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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

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


to speed up the process or progress of

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