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  1. a disposition or bent, especially of the mind or will; a liking or preference: Much against his inclination, he was forced to resign.
  2. something to which one is inclined: In sports his inclination is tennis.
  3. the act of inclining; state of being inclined.
  4. a tendency toward a certain condition, action, etc.: the door's inclination to stick.
  5. deviation or amount of deviation from a normal, especially horizontal or vertical, direction or position.
  6. an inclined surface.
  7. Geometry.
    1. the angle between two lines or two planes.
    2. the angle formed by the x-axis and a given line.
  8. Astronomy.
    1. the angle between the orbital plane of a planet and another given plane, usually the ecliptic.
    2. the angle between the equatorial and orbital planes of a planet.
  9. Magnetism. dip1(def 32).

Origin of inclination

1350–1400; Middle English inclinacioun < Latin inclīnātiōn- (stem of inclīnātiō), equivalent to inclīnāt(us) past participle of inclīnāre (see incline, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsin·cli·na·tion·al, adjectivenon·in·cli·na·tion, nounnon·in·cli·na·tion·al, adjectiveo·ver·in·cli·na·tion, nounsu·per·in·cli·na·tion, noun

Synonyms for inclination

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Antonyms for inclination Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of inclination

British Dictionary definitions for inclination


  1. (often foll by for, to, towards, or an infinitive) a particular disposition, esp a liking or preference; tendencyI've no inclination for such dull work
  2. the degree of deviation from a particular plane, esp a horizontal or vertical plane
  3. a sloping or slanting surface; incline
  4. the act of inclining or the state of being inclined
  5. the act of bowing or nodding the head
  6. maths
    1. the angle between a line on a graph and the positive limb of the x- axis
    2. the smaller dihedral angle between one plane and another
  7. astronomy the angle between the plane of the orbit of a planet or comet and another plane, usually that of the ecliptic
  8. physics another name for dip (def. 28)
Derived Formsinclinational, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for inclination

"condition of being mentally disposed" (to do something), late 14c., from Middle French inclination (14c.) and directly from Latin inclinationem (nominative inclinatio) "a leaning, bending," figuratively "tendency, bias, favor," noun of action from past participle stem of inclinare (see incline). Meaning "action of bending toward" (something) is from early 15c. That of "amount of a slope" is from 1799.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inclination in Medicine


  1. A deviation or the degree of deviation from the horizontal or vertical; a slant.
  2. The deviation of the long axis of a tooth from perpendicular.
  3. A tendency toward a certain condition or character.
  4. A characteristic disposition to do, prefer, or favor one thing rather than another; a propensity.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

inclination in Science


  1. A deviation or the degree of deviation from the horizontal or vertical.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.