First attested in 1622. From Italian ingraziare, from ingratiare, from in gratia, from Latin in grātiam (into favour), from grātus.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈɡɹeɪ.ʃi.eɪt/
  • (file)
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  • Rhymes: -eɪʃieɪt


ingratiate (third-person singular simple present ingratiates, present participle ingratiating, simple past and past participle ingratiated)

  1. (reflexive) To bring oneself into favour with someone by flattering or trying to please him or her.
    • 1849, Charlotte Brontë, Shirley, ch. 15:
      [H]e considered this offering an homage to his merits, and an attempt on the part of the heiress to ingratiate herself into his priceless affections.
    • 1903, Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, ch. 58:
      [H]e would pat the children on the head when he saw them on the stairs, and ingratiate himself with them as far as he dared.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      And it is symptomatic of the many paradoxes of Lederer's life that of all the people in the room, Brotherhood is the one whom he would most wish to serve, if ever he had the opportunity, even though — or perhaps because — his occasional efforts to ingratiate himself with his adopted hero have met with iron rebuff.
    • 2007 July 9, Brian Bennett, "Why Maliki Is Still Around," Time (retrieved 26 May 2014):
      He ingratiated himself with the Kurdish bloc when he stood up to aggressive Turkish rhetoric about the Kurdish border in May.
  2. (followed by to) To recommend; to render easy or agreeable.
    • c. 1650, Henry Hammond, "Sermon XIII" in Miscellaneous Theological Works of Henry Hammond, Volume 3 (1850 edition), p. 283 (Google preview):
      What difficulty would it [the love of Christ] not ingratiate to us?
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dr. J. Scott to this entry?)

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