Meaning of ingrain in English:


Pronunciation /ɪnˈɡreɪn/

See synonyms for ingrain


(also engrain)
[with object]
  • Firmly fix or establish (a habit, belief, or attitude) in a person.

    ‘they trivialize the struggle and further ingrain the long-standing attitudes’
    • ‘She's a race-walking instructor who bubbles with enthusiasm, armed with clever similes and a rigid attitude about ingraining proper technique.’
    • ‘I've been trying to do more, lately, but I have a hard time ingraining things as habit sometimes.’
    • ‘Posted calligraphy engrains the warrior code of Bushido and expounds the philosophical roots of kendo.’
    • ‘And its country-chic French cuisine is truly excellent, a reminder of how cooking and table service ingrains itself in French culture, not something pawned off to minimum-wage employees.’
    • ‘First, it ingrains a confident stroke on short putts.’
    • ‘Imposing rules on what you can and cannot eat ingrains that kind of self control, requiring us to learn to control even our most basic, primal instincts.’
    • ‘Hrabowski ingrains a sense of excellence and discipline in his students.’
    • ‘If you lay the groundwork by ingraining good technique with lots of repetition, you can develop the comfort and confidence to focus on the target and let your athletic instincts take over.’
    • ‘If you're not crisp and fresh in recognizing and releasing thoughts, you're not really meditating; you're ingraining sloppiness.’
    • ‘Before, I'd figure something out, then spend two hours ingraining it.’
    • ‘Even our efforts at fighting corruption will be in vain if we are not holistic in our approach by ingraining inclusiveness and merit in government action.’
    • ‘Once I've got that, I repeat the number of yards to myself three or four times, ingraining it in my brain.’
    • ‘If you give charity 100 times, the repetition of the physical act breaks down your egocentricity and engrains the behavior of a more charitable person.’
    • ‘Where it's appropriate, I'll suggest a favorite drill to ingrain a move or feeling.’
    • ‘Whilst he bathed and got rid of all that ingrained coal dust from his body she would be preparing a dinner.’
    • ‘Some argue that grit is engrained in the American psyche.’
    • ‘A face like hers couldn't be duplicated just from memory, even if her face was engrained into his mind like a cerebral tattoo.’
    • ‘He viewed my role in our relationship as the underdog, without realizing, it was ingrained into him all his life. His attitude was his decision would be first and mine second.’
    • ‘This process manifests itself in a certain attitude that seems to be ingrained in a disproportionate number of Scottish acts.’
    • ‘By contrast, business intelligence and action lag behind the current business activity if business processes are ingrained in rigid and brittle software systems.’
    entrench, establish, fix, inculcate, instil, implant, root
    View synonyms


  • (of a textile) composed of fibres which have been dyed different colours before being woven.

    ‘Aniline black for cotton was the first ingrain color, or dye developed directly on the fiber.’
    • ‘these historical Ingrain dyes for cotton developed in the 1950's are now rarely used for solid-shade dyeing.’
    • ‘The dots which are represented on the groundwork of the initial are worked in back stitching; these may be worked in scarlet ingrain cotton if desired.’


Late Middle English (originally as engrain in the sense ‘dye with cochineal or in fast colours’): from en-, in- (as an intensifier) + the verb grain. The adjective is from in grain ‘fast-dyed’, from the old use of grain meaning ‘kermes, cochineal’.