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See more synonyms for instil on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), in·stilled, in·stil·ling.
  1. instill.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to infuse slowly or gradually into the mind or feelings; insinuate; inject: to instill courtesy in a child.
  2. to put in drop by drop.
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Origin of instill

1525–35; < Latin instillāre, equivalent to in- in-2 + stillāre to drip; see distill
Related formsin·still·er, nounin·still·ment, nounpre·in·still, verb (used with object)
Can be confusedinstall instill


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for instilling

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He uses the Abbé even yet, for instilling all his notions into her mind.

  • This is a means of instilling a lot of energy into the gait.

    Touring Afoot

    Claude Powell Fordyce

  • But immediately God set me up by instilling a beam of hope within my soul, that He would soon deliver me out of my trouble.

    Some Jewish Witnesses For Christ

    Rev. A. Bernstein, B.D.

  • Everything to forefend against a day of stress or trial had been done, even to instilling courage into youthful hearts.

    Wells Brothers

    Andy Adams

  • We had succeeded in instilling in them the iron discipline of duty which was to prove better than the discipline of fear.

    The Red Watch

    J. A. Currie

British Dictionary definitions for instilling


US instill

verb -stils, -stills, -stilling or -stilled (tr)
  1. to introduce gradually; implant or infuse
  2. rare to pour in or inject in drops
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Derived Formsinstiller, nouninstilment, US instillment or instillation, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin instillāre to pour in a drop at a time, from stillāre to drip
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 instilling



also instil, early 15c., "to introduce (liquid, feelings, etc.) little by little," from Latin instillare "put in by drops, to drop, trickle," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + stilla "a drop" (see distill). Related: Instilled; instilling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

instilling in Medicine


  1. To pour in drop by drop.
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Related formsin′stil•lation (ĭn′stə-lāshən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.