• synonyms


[verb in-klahyn; noun in-klahyn, in-klahyn]
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verb (used with object), in·clined, in·clin·ing.
  1. to deviate from the vertical or horizontal; slant.
  2. to have a mental tendency, preference, etc.; be disposed: We incline to rest and relaxation these days.
  3. to tend, in a physical sense; approximate: The flowers incline toward blue.
  4. to tend in character or in course of action: a political philosophy that inclines toward the conservative.
  5. to lean; bend.
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verb (used with object), in·clined, in·clin·ing.
  1. to dispose (a person) in mind, habit, etc. (usually followed by to): His attitude did not incline me to help him.
  2. to bow, nod, or bend (the head, body, etc.): He inclined his head in greeting.
  3. to cause to lean or bend in a particular direction.
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  1. an inclined surface; slope; slant.
  2. Railroads.
    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.
  3. Mining.
    1. an angled shaft following a dipping vein.
    2. an inclined haulageway.
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  1. incline one's ear, to listen, especially willingly or favorably: to incline one's ear to another's plea.
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Origin of incline

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 formsin·clin·er, nouno·ver·in·cline, verb, o·ver·in·clined, o·ver·in·clin·ing.re·in·cline, verb, re·in·clined, re·in·clin·ing.


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. lean, slope, rise, fall, pitch. 2. tend, lean. 3, 4. verge, veer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for incline

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It would have been as easy for quicksilver to remain at the top of an incline.

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

  • Many motives conspired to incline Selina to accept of the invitation.

  • I incline very much to doubt that I should do it in any event, Mr. Duncan.

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • This indifference of his to London, I cannot but say, made me incline the more to go thither.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • The water appeared to be running down an incline of about twenty degrees.

British Dictionary definitions for incline


verb (ɪnˈklaɪn)
  1. to deviate or cause to deviate from a particular plane, esp a vertical or horizontal plane; slope or slant
  2. (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
  3. to bend or lower (part of the body, esp the head), as in a bow or in order to listen
  4. incline one's ear to listen favourably (to)
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noun (ˈɪnklaɪn, ɪnˈklaɪn)
  1. an inclined surface or slope; gradient
  2. short for inclined railway
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Derived Formsincliner, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Latin inclīnāre to cause to lean, from clīnāre to bend; see lean 1
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 incline


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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper