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.

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.


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

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)

noun (ˈɪnklaɪn, ɪnˈklaɪn)

  1. an inclined surface or slope; gradient
  2. short for inclined railway

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.


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

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