incline

1 of 2

verb

in·​cline in-ˈklīn How to pronounce incline (audio)
inclined; inclining

intransitive verb

1
: to bend the head or body forward : bow
2
: to lean, tend, or become drawn toward an opinion or course of conduct
3
: to deviate from a line, direction, or course
specifically : to deviate from the vertical or horizontal

transitive verb

1
: to cause to stoop or bow : bend
2
: to have influence on : persuade
his love of books inclined him toward a literary career
3
: to give a bend or slant to
incliner noun

incline

2 of 2

noun

in·​cline ˈin-ˌklīn How to pronounce incline (audio)
: an inclined plane : grade, slope
Choose the Right Synonym for incline

incline, bias, dispose, predispose mean to influence one to have or take an attitude toward something.

incline implies a tendency to favor one of two or more actions or conclusions.

I incline to agree

bias suggests a settled and predictable leaning in one direction and connotes unfair prejudice.

the experience biased him against foreigners

dispose suggests an affecting of one's mood or temper so as to incline one toward something.

her nature disposes her to trust others

predispose implies the operation of a disposing influence well in advance of the opportunity to manifest itself.

does fictional violence predispose them to accept real violence?

Examples of incline in a Sentence

Verb She listened with her eyes closed and her head inclined. The road inclines at an angle of about 12 degrees. His love of books inclined him toward a literary career. Noun We drove up a steep incline to the summit. You can adjust the incline of the ramp.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
These gray days tend to feel cooler, so you might be inclined to stay outside longer or forget to reapply sunscreen. Sarah Klein, Health, 30 Mar. 2024 The Moon's orbit is inclined at about five degrees relative to Earth's orbit around the sun. The Arizona Republic, 27 Mar. 2024 Officers subject to partisan litmus tests might be inclined to bend those rules. Risa Brooks, Foreign Affairs, 20 Mar. 2024 The drill holes were mainly placed in step-out rows subparallel to the 2017-2018 drilling, oriented with azimuths 230 - 260, generally inclined at minus 65 degrees from horizontal. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7 Mar. 2024 In an era inclined to narrative and political art, Tiler Peck is not afraid to give us the pure pleasure of music and dance. Jennifer Homans, The New Yorker, 4 Mar. 2024 Performed in 1979, Resonances was rigorously choreographed to appear spontaneous, evading governmental restrictions on collective action while simultaneously extending collective action to include people who might not be inclined to act on their own. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Anyone inclined to wring their hands over TikTok’s role in sullying public discourse and internet safety in this country must acknowledge the role of all the leading social media platforms — not only Meta but X and YouTube. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2024 Since the boom of activity trackers like the Fitbit or Apple Watch, many people would be inclined to say around 10,000 steps. Delaney Nothaft, USA TODAY, 2 Jan. 2024
Noun
One important thing to note about all baby swings: Because babies lie on an incline in swings, these are not safe sleep spaces, and babies should never be left unattended in a swing. Chaunie Brusie, Rn, Parents, 7 Mar. 2024 The trail follows a wide dirt path that is flat for the majority of the hike, featuring just a few inclines. Maura Fox, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Mar. 2024 Movement is clunky and persistently frustrating as climbing even small inclines can be inconsistent. Christopher Cruz, Rolling Stone, 21 Mar. 2024 Viet’s street runs horizontally across a huge incline that begins the Palos Verdes Peninsula, a marvel of steep cliffs and Mediterranean-style homes at the south hook of Santa Monica Bay. Audrey Gray, WIRED, 24 Feb. 2024 The trail is wide and flat for the majority of the hike, though there are a few inclines on the second half. Maura Fox, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Feb. 2024 The organization recommended that no infant sleep products with more than a 10-degree recline should be sold (sleepers typically have an incline of up to 30 degrees). Christin Perry, Parents, 31 Jan. 2024 The construction site hemmed in by large boulders, rocks and the ocean on one side and a steep incline on the other. Hannah Fry, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2024 On a slight incline, the motor matched my effort to fight gravity with just a small percentage of its 100nm torque reserve. William Roberson, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'incline.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French incliner, encliner, from Latin inclinare, from in- + clinare to lean — more at lean

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1798, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of incline was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near incline

Cite this Entry

“Incline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incline. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

incline

1 of 2 verb
in·​cline in-ˈklīn How to pronounce incline (audio)
inclined; inclining
1
: to bend the head or body forward : bow
2
: to be drawn to an opinion or course of action
inclined to go swimming
3
: to turn or move from a line, direction, or course : lean, slope
4
: to cause to bend, bow, or slant
5
: to have influence on : persuade
my teacher's example inclined me to become a teacher too
inclinable
in-ˈklī-nə-bəl
adjective

incline

2 of 2 noun
in·​cline ˈin-ˌklīn How to pronounce incline (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on incline

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