Definition of inclination in English:



  • 1A person's natural tendency or urge to act or feel in a particular way; a disposition.

    ‘John was a scientist by training and inclination’
    ‘Fanny showed little inclination to talk about anything serious’
    [count noun] ‘he was free to follow his inclinations’
    • ‘The powers remain, but they now follow the inclinations of man's perverted and self-centred heart.’
    • ‘The outcome is clearly a compromise of his own egalitarian inclinations.’
    • ‘Previous conflicts between their natural inclinations and their fears would be resolved firmly in favour of the left.’
    • ‘Freedom for him is something that belongs to a person when he is not hindered from following his preferences and inclinations.’
    • ‘The problem is that my inclinations are in the opposite direction.’
    • ‘Are you ready to finally have your most deafening inclinations and desires voiced for you?’
    • ‘But they are all still Leftists with the same dictatorial inclinations.’
    • ‘From foxhounds to sheep dogs, none can be successful in their natural inclinations without proper training.’
    • ‘The way of avoiding such tragedies is for everyone to follow his own inclinations, more or less as they arise.’
    • ‘Being ruled by Venus, planet of love and beauty, you've always had the inclinations of a new romantic, even when grunge dominated.’
    • ‘Every living being is under the plan of his natural inclinations in terms of the modes of material nature.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, this education breeds and dignifies some dangerous inclinations.’
    • ‘The problem is that many of us are out of touch with our natural inclinations.’
    • ‘The other items in each particular circumstance might be different mental events, including desires, inclinations, and so on.’
    • ‘Many of us can think of a dream job… that perfect position matching our aptitudes and our inclinations.’
    • ‘All of my natural inclinations registered heavily on the Watchtower sin-o-meter.’
    • ‘They have different approaches, origins, orientations and inclinations.’
    • ‘In that context the audience would include beings of varying capacities, dispositions, and inclinations.’
    • ‘Introspection and a compulsion to fleet-footed unexpectedness mean that I sometimes cannot trust my inclinations.’
    • ‘They are people with special tastes, inclinations and resources.’
    tendency, propensity, proclivity, leaning
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An interest in or liking for (something)
      ‘my inborn inclination for things with moving parts’
      • ‘What I certainly don't feel is guilty about the fact that I have no inclination to watch.’
      • ‘Her first inclination was to decline, but before she knew what she was doing she decided that she would accept.’
      • ‘An inclination toward classical art and, most likely, the residual Protestantism of her Canadian-Scottish heritage were also evident.’
      • ‘Muslim organisations who collect zakat have their own agenda and have no interest or inclination to take up the cause of these poor Muslims.’
      • ‘The various publics, having other interests or no inclination toward foreign matters short of war, tended toward apathy.’
      • ‘The second inconsistency is found in Calvin's insistence that the fallen will retains neither power to choose between good and evil nor any inclination for goodness.’
      • ‘Through her I have satisfied many inclinations to revenge.’
      • ‘And the image of ordinary, decent boys who showed no inclinations towards extremism and violence began to crumble.’
      • ‘‘The refugees and asylum seekers are generally law-abiding and educated and have no inclination towards crime,’ he said.’
      • ‘One of his more obvious characteristics is his inclination towards exaggeration.’
      • ‘Much of this, I gladly confide, derives from my lifelong inclination for historical geography.’
      • ‘But an inclination for music was not his only love, he also had a passion for film.’
      • ‘Some have inclinations towards activism without ever having really been politicized.’
      • ‘Most people don't have the time or inclination to evaluate everything they are told.’
      • ‘Still, he is a bit raw and immature, and he showed no inclination to complete college.’
      • ‘Either way, if I look at them at all, my inclination to read more than a few lines is heavily influenced by their grasp of, say, punctuation.’
      liking, penchant, partiality, preference, appetite, fancy, fondness, affection, love
      View synonyms
  • 2The fact or degree of sloping.

    ‘changes in inclination of the line on the graph’
    • ‘Slope inclination and aspect were recorded at several locations within each stand.’
    • ‘The great diversity of plants in the formation is due to local variation in soil conditions, topography, slope inclination and resultant microclimates.’
    • ‘An inclination of 0 degrees would mean the orbit is perfectly aligned with Earth's orbital plane.’
    • ‘Vicinal faces are typically only hundredths of one degree in inclination from the main crystal face on which they form.’
    • ‘The plot was located on a north-west facing slope with an inclination of about 20° and an elevation range of 130 m from the lowest to the highest point.’
    1. 2.1The angle at which a straight line or plane is inclined to another.
      • ‘We also recorded terrain inclination angle, observer distance, time of day, date and year.’
      • ‘For example, at each location on the globe, the geomagnetic field lines intersect the Earth's surface at a specific angle of inclination.’
      • ‘The first design trend we examine here is in the orientation of the pectoral fin base, defined externally as the angle of inclination of the insertion of the pectoral fin on the body.’
      • ‘For example, it is likely that the angle of inclination of the pectoral fin base constrains the range of directions in which force may be applied on the fluid during swimming.’
      • ‘Dichroic ratios R, order parameter S, and inclination angle between membrane plans and diglucosamine ring plane.’
      • ‘Previous workers have examined the functional significance of variation in the angle of inclination of the fin base relative to the longitudinal axis of the body.’
      • ‘The transmembrane helix of subunit VIIc changes its angle of inclination midway through the helix.’
      gradient, incline, slope, pitch, ramp, bank, ascent, rise, acclivity, descent, declivity
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2The dip of a magnetic needle.
      • ‘This component has both reversed and normal polarity, with an average declination of 320 and an inclination of -13 deg.’
      • ‘The third possible explanation for the shallow inclination of the high temperature component of magnetization is that the dykes were rotated about horizontal axes after magnetization.’
      • ‘The higher coercivity component has a inclination that is steeper than expected and a NW declination.’
    3. 2.3Astronomy The angle between the orbital plane of a planet, comet, etc. and the ecliptic, or between the orbital plane of a satellite and the equatorial plane of its primary.
      ‘cometary orbits vary widely in inclination’
      • ‘First, the relative inclination of the two orbits means their paths do not intersect.’
      • ‘The orbit plane inclination is from 55 to 60 degrees, which gives good coverage of latitudes up to 75 degrees north.’
      • ‘From that ellipse one can, in principle, determine the inclination of the planet's orbital plane.’
      • ‘Because of the Mercury's high orbital inclination, it can be seen crossing the disk of the sun only rarely.’
      • ‘He's based this idea on a study of the angle, or inclination, of asteroid orbits.’
  • 3An act of inclining the body or head.

    ‘the questioner's inclination of his head’
    • ‘A slight inclination of Roxy's head indicated to Helen that she knew about her estrangement from Tim.’
    • ‘A slight inclination of Alvito's head was all the acknowledgement this pledge received.’
    • ‘That most people walk in an ungraceful, ungainly and awkward manner with a forward inclination of the body does not mean that it is the normal way of walking.’
    bowing, bow, bending, nod, nodding, lowering, dip
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin inclinatio(n-), from inclinare bend towards (see incline).