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 formsun·in·clin·ing, adjective


[verb in-klahyn; noun in-klahyn, in-klahyn]

verb (used with object), in·clined, in·clin·ing.

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.

verb (used with object), in·clined, in·clin·ing.

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.

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··in·cline, verb, re·in·clined, re·in·clin·ing.

Synonyms for incline

1. lean, slope, rise, fall, pitch. 2. tend, lean. 3, 4. verge, veer. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inclining

Historical Examples of inclining

  • Inclining to dusk as it was, I knew him at a glance: it was Mr. Lawrence on his grey pony.

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

  • For our part, we did what we could to keep the barrels of our muskets from inclining upwards.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • "At Brussels, I believe," she remarked, inclining her head graciously.

    The Avenger

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • Then, leaving it ajar, he stood behind it with bent head and inclining ear.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

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
Derived Formsincliner, noun

Word Origin for incline

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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper