Definition of inculcate in English:



[with object]
  • 1Instil (an idea, attitude, or habit) by persistent instruction.

    ‘I tried to inculcate in my pupils an attitude of enquiry’
    • ‘These are the preconditions for inculcating habits of critical inquiry, as distinct from imparting a specific body of knowledge or set of skills.’
    • ‘The poet uses his imaginative freedom to doubt the presence of the spirit of Ahalya in this particular stone that inculcates the feminine charm of the sculpture.’
    • ‘Prayers are an enforced ritual to inculcate obedience and conformity.’
    • ‘But the meritocratic system that produced Laura and me not only produced outsized expectations; it inculcated a belief that we deserved wonderful jobs and a comfortable lifestyle.’
    • ‘The goal is to identify those social institutions and practices which inculcate civic virtue, and then to see how these institutions and practices can be protected and strengthened.’
    • ‘Childhood is the right time to inculcate the trait of kindness and how better can one do it than by example?’
    • ‘Where private secondary schools once inculcated American citizenship and patriotism, today they employ diversity professionals to show students their complicity in an unjust society.’
    • ‘It was fascinating to see their opinions without the prejudices inculcated by media spin.’
    • ‘That perhaps explains why so much effort was made everywhere to inculcate notions of deference, legitimacy and order.’
    • ‘Its advertising and promotional campaigns communicated to the population the goals of the regime and attempted to inculcate new attitudes and behaviors.’
    • ‘For like the wars on drugs or poverty it inculcates expectations at the risk of showing few results.’
    • ‘Surely training is teaching applied skills and the best of education involves inculcating conceptual skills.’
    • ‘Popular films, both Western and Indian, will be used to demonstrate and inculcate the skills involved in writing a successful screenplay.’
    • ‘In this sense, meanings control us, inculcate obedience to the discipline inscribed in them.’
    • ‘However the schools did follow a standardized curriculum that inculcated literacy and learning skills.’
    • ‘In addition, efforts were made to inculcate law-abiding attitudes and strengthen the unity of command principle.’
    • ‘The tsunami disaster, in a way, has brought the public closer, reiterated the significance of humanism and inculcated the habit of helping those in distress.’
    • ‘For over thirty years we've inculcated a backward mentality in this country.’
    • ‘It is more so because inculcating the trait is not just possible under normal circumstances.’
    • ‘Government-run schools are free to have a daily Pledge or anthem; I'm not sure how well this inculcates patriotism, but at least in principle I have no objection to this.’
    instil, implant, fix, ingrain, infuse, impress, imprint, introduce
    imbue, infuse, inspire, instil
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Teach (someone) an attitude, idea, or habit by persistent instruction.
      ‘they will try to inculcate you with a respect for culture’
      • ‘She taught herself English and inculcated the value of education in her vast family.’
      • ‘Deciding to share the parents' responsibility to inculcate in their children moral values and teach them the basic rules for a successful life, the Kennedy management invited them to the school on Sunday.’
      • ‘He stressed the need to develop the personality of children by inculcating good qualities and values in them.’
      • ‘This work drew heavily on the expressionistic fervor that Bolshoi training inculcated into the choreographer.’
      • ‘In teaching the scientific method, we are necessarily inculcating certain values in students.’
      • ‘Spoiled was my mother's resolution of the dilemma of raising a child in an environment free from prejudice, yet inculcating him with a resistance to odd and alluring temptations.’
      • ‘In short, the in-depth study of information and communication disciplines needs be encouraged among girls to inculcate in them e-readiness.’
      • ‘The knowledge and experience acquired during their sojourn enabled these Makka-educated Malays to play a significant role in inculcating social awareness, particularly in the development of religious education before World War II.’
      • ‘He is here when we unlearn the violence and greed we are inculcated with as Americans, and practice peacemaking and reconciliation.’
      • ‘Taking a leaf from the President's book, he is determined to reach out to the purposeful section, - students - wherever he goes, and inculcate in them the desire to develop the country in all spheres.’
      • ‘‘We want to inculcate the fundamentals of Islam in children so that they develop right attitude towards Islamic living,’ says Sameena Yasmeen, school Principal.’
      • ‘His tutor inculcates principles into him which sum up the essentials of the Social Contract.’
      • ‘The board also recommended that the Air Force provide training from classroom to the field that inculcates the AEF philosophy in all members of the Air Force.’
      • ‘They inculcated us with the values of accomplishment and decency.’
      • ‘There is an unreadiness for pain and death, and that contrasts so unhappily with the realism and hope the New Testament writers inculcated in their readers to prepare them to leave this world in peace when their time came.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin inculcat- ‘pressed in’, from the verb inculcare, from in- ‘into’ + calcare ‘to tread’ (from calx, calc- ‘heel’).