Synonym Chooser

How does the verb leaven differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of leaven are imbue, infuse, ingrain, inoculate, and suffuse. While all these words mean "to introduce one thing into another so as to affect it throughout," leaven implies introducing something that enlivens, tempers, or markedly alters the total quality.

a serious play leavened with comic moments

When is it sensible to use imbue instead of leaven?

The words imbue and leaven are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, imbue implies the introduction of a quality that fills and permeates the whole being.

imbue students with intellectual curiosity

When would infuse be a good substitute for leaven?

The synonyms infuse and leaven are sometimes interchangeable, but infuse implies a pouring in of something that gives new life or significance.

new members infused enthusiasm into the club

In what contexts can ingrain take the place of leaven?

Although the words ingrain and leaven have much in common, ingrain, used only in the passive or past participle, suggests the deep implanting of a quality or trait.

clung to ingrained habits

When might inoculate be a better fit than leaven?

The meanings of inoculate and leaven largely overlap; however, inoculate implies an imbuing or implanting with a germinal idea and often suggests stealth or subtlety.

an electorate inoculated with dangerous ideas

When could suffuse be used to replace leaven?

While the synonyms suffuse and leaven are close in meaning, suffuse implies a spreading through of something that gives an unusual color or quality.

a room suffused with light

Thesaurus Entries Near leaven

Cite this Entry

“Leaven.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/leaven. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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