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present participle of lean

Synonym Chooser

How does the noun leaning contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of leaning are penchant, proclivity, and propensity. While all these words mean "a strong instinct or liking for something," leaning suggests a liking or attraction not strong enough to be decisive or uncontrollable.

a student with artistic leanings

When might penchant be a better fit than leaning?

In some situations, the words penchant and leaning are roughly equivalent. However, penchant implies a strongly marked taste in the person or an irresistible attraction in the object.

a penchant for taking risks

When is proclivity a more appropriate choice than leaning?

The words proclivity and leaning can be used in similar contexts, but proclivity suggests a strong natural proneness usually to something objectionable or evil.

a proclivity for violence

In what contexts can propensity take the place of leaning?

The meanings of propensity and leaning largely overlap; however, propensity implies a deeply ingrained and usually irresistible inclination.

a propensity to offer advice

Cite this Entry

“Leaning.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/leaning. Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

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