V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: to make an effort to please someone in order to gain favor

Synonyms: charm, flatter, grovel, fawn, captivate, convince, persuade, brown-nose

Antonyms: anger, annoy

Tips: Ingratiate is derived from the Latin ingratiam, which means "for the favor of." Someone who is ingratiating him or her self is trying to gain the favor of someone else. It is most often used with "to"--he is ingratiating himself to her. Ingratiate often carries a negative connotation, in that someone is only being nice in hopes of gaining something in return. The adjective ingratiating describes behavior intended to make people like you. Note: often the prefix "in-" is negative and means "not" (e.g. invalid = not valid). However, there are also instances like here, where "in-" is actually part of the original root word and denotes a stronger meaning. Gratiate and grace come from the same Latin root, which means "favor," so ingratiate comes from a Latin phrase meaning "into favor."

Usage Examples:

By making campaign promises, politicians hope to ingratiate themselves to the public. (charm, convince)

He tried to ingratiate himself to his boss by working late every week. (gain favor, brown-nose)

Her ingratiating smile helped her get into the best restaurants in town without a reservation. (charming, captivating) adjective

I know that I'll be able to ingratiate myself with him and win that promotion. (get into good favor with)

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