Word of the Day : June 11, 2015

inculcate

play
verb in-KUL-kayt

Definition

: to teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions

Did You Know?

Inculcate derives from the past participle of the Latin verb inculcare, meaning "to tread on." In Latin, inculcare possesses both literal and figurative meanings, referring to either the act of walking over something or to that of impressing something upon the mind, often by way of steady repetition. It is the figurative sense that survives with inculcate, which was first used in English in the 16th century. Inculcare was formed in Latin by combining the prefix in- with calcare, meaning "to trample," and ultimately derives from the noun calx, meaning "heel." In normal usage inculcate is typically followed by the prepositions in or into, with the object of the preposition being the person or thing receiving the instruction.


Examples

Mark and Victoria tried to inculcate in their children the values of hard work, self-reliance, and respect for other people.

"When Duke went to seven Final Fours over a nine-year span from 1986 through 1994, the Blue Devils were invariably led by juniors and seniors inculcated in how Krzyzewski wanted the game played." - Barry Jacobs, Charlotte (North Carolina) News & Observer, April 10, 2015



Word Family Quiz

Fill in the blanks to create an adjective derived from Latin calx that suggests determined resistance to or defiance of authority: _ _ c _ _ ci _ r _ n _. The answer is …


Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!