[ verb in-klahyn; noun in-klahyn, in-klahyn ]
See synonyms for: inclineinclinedinclining on

verb (used without 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.

  1. to tend, in a physical sense; approximate: The flowers incline toward blue.

  2. to tend in character or in course of action: a political philosophy that inclines toward the conservative.

  3. to lean; bend.

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.

  1. to cause to lean or bend in a particular direction.

  1. an inclined surface; slope; slant.

  2. Railroads.

    • Also called inclined plane, incline plane . a cable railroad, the gradient of which is approximately 45°.

    • any railroad or portion of a railroad, the gradient of which is too steep for ordinary locomotive adhesion alone to be effective.

  1. Mining.

    • an angled shaft following a dipping vein.

    • an inclined haulageway.

Idioms about incline

  1. incline one's ear, to listen, especially willingly or favorably: to incline one's ear to another's plea.

Origin of incline

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English inclinen, from Latin inclīnāre, equivalent to in-in-2 + -clīnāre “to bend” (see lean1); replacing Middle English enclinen, from Middle French, from Latin, as above

Other words for incline

Other words from incline

  • in·clin·er, noun
  • o·ver·in·cline, verb, o·ver·in·clined, o·ver·in·clin·ing.
  • re·in·cline, verb, re·in·clined, re·in·clin·ing.

Words Nearby incline Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use incline in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for incline


  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

  1. to bend or lower (part of the body, esp the head), as in a bow or in order to listen

  2. incline one's ear to listen favourably (to)

noun(ˈɪnklaɪn, ɪnˈklaɪn)
  1. an inclined surface or slope; gradient

Origin of incline

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

Derived forms of incline

  • incliner, noun

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