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90s Slang You Should Know


[in-klahy-ning] /ɪnˈklaɪ nɪŋ/
inclination; disposition.
Archaic. people who are sympathetic to a person or cause.
Origin of inclining
First recorded in 1300-50, inclining is from the Middle English word enclinynge. See incline, -ing1
Related forms
uninclining, adjective


[verb in-klahyn; noun in-klahyn, in-klahyn] /verb ɪnˈklaɪn; noun ˈɪn klaɪn, ɪnˈklaɪn/
verb (used with object), inclined, inclining.
to deviate from the vertical or horizontal; slant.
to have a mental tendency, preference, etc.; be disposed:
We incline to rest and relaxation these days.
to tend, in a physical sense; approximate:
The flowers incline toward blue.
to tend in character or in course of action:
a political philosophy that inclines toward the conservative.
to lean; bend.
to dispose (a person) in mind, habit, etc. (usually followed by to):
His attitude did not incline me to help him.
to bow, nod, or bend (the head, body, etc.):
He inclined his head in greeting.
to cause to lean or bend in a particular direction.
an inclined surface; slope; slant.
  1. Also called inclined plane, incline plane. a cable railroad, the gradient of which is approximately 45°.
  2. any railroad or portion of a railroad, the gradient of which is too steep for ordinary locomotive adhesion alone to be effective.
  1. an angled shaft following a dipping vein.
  2. an inclined haulageway.
incline one's ear, to listen, especially willingly or favorably:
to incline one's ear to another's plea.
1300-50; Middle English inclinen < Latin inclīnāre, equivalent to in- in-2 + -clīnāre to bend (see lean1); replacing Middle English enclinen < Middle French < Latin, as above
Related forms
incliner, noun
overincline, verb, overinclined, overinclining.
reincline, verb, reinclined, reinclining.
1. lean, slope, rise, fall, pitch. 2. tend, lean. 3, 4. verge, veer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for inclining
Historical Examples
  • The ladies watched now in deep suspense; inclining to hope, yet dreading the worst.

    The American Baron James De Mille
  • I replied that the chances were pretty even, inclining, if anything, to the negative.

    The Sign of the Spider Bertram Mitford
  • The middle row was set straight, the other two rows five or six feet from it and inclining toward it like wigwam-poles.

  • He was short in stature, inclining to be stout, strenuous and bold.

  • I was considerably annoyed, because it seemed like inclining to England, and relinquishing all hopes of France.

    Before and after Waterloo Edward Stanley
  • inclining to dusk as it was, I knew him at a glance: it was Mr. Lawrence on his grey pony.

  • Having then crossed the fortifications, he expels from the camp the crowd who were dismayed and inclining towards one direction.

  • "Till to-morrow, Lise," said Antoine, inclining his head to kiss her.

  • This is effected by inclining it downward every day, a piece of rattan or vine being used to retain it in position.

    The Manbos of Mindano John M. Garvan
  • For our part, we did what we could to keep the barrels of our muskets from inclining upwards.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for inclining


verb (ɪnˈklaɪn)
to deviate or cause to deviate from a particular plane, esp a vertical or horizontal plane; slope or slant
when tr, may take an infinitive. to be disposed or cause to be disposed (towards some attitude or to do something): he inclines towards levity, that does not incline me to think that you are right
to bend or lower (part of the body, esp the head), as in a bow or in order to listen
incline one's ear, to listen favourably (to)
noun (ˈɪnklaɪn; ɪnˈklaɪn)
an inclined surface or slope; gradient
short for inclined railway
Derived Forms
incliner, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Latin inclīnāre to cause to lean, from clīnāre to bend; see lean1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inclining



c.1600, "mental tendency," from incline (v.). The literal meaning "slant, slope" is attested from 1846.



c.1300, "to bend or bow toward," from Old French encliner, from Latin inclinare "to cause to lean; bend, incline, turn, divert," from in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + clinare "to bend," from PIE *klei-n-, suffixed form of *klei- "to lean" (see lean (v.)). Metaphoric sense of "have a mental disposition toward" is early 15c. in English (but existed in classical Latin). Related: Inclined; inclining.


c.1600, "mental tendency," from incline (v.). The literal meaning "slant, slope" is attested from 1846.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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