Definition of ingrain in US English:


(also engrain)


Pronunciation /ənˈɡrān//ənˈɡreɪn/
  • with object Firmly fix or establish (a habit, belief, or attitude) in a person.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A face like hers couldn't be duplicated just from memory, even if her face was engrained into his mind like a cerebral tattoo.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This process manifests itself in a certain attitude that seems to be ingrained in a disproportionate number of Scottish acts.’
    • ‘Whilst he bathed and got rid of all that ingrained coal dust from his body she would be preparing a dinner.’
    • ‘First, it ingrains a confident stroke on short putts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Before, I'd figure something out, then spend two hours ingraining it.’
    • ‘She's a race-walking instructor who bubbles with enthusiasm, armed with clever similes and a rigid attitude about ingraining proper technique.’
    • ‘Once I've got that, I repeat the number of yards to myself three or four times, ingraining it in my brain.’
    • ‘Posted calligraphy engrains the warrior code of Bushido and expounds the philosophical roots of kendo.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Where it's appropriate, I'll suggest a favorite drill to ingrain a move or feeling.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some argue that grit is engrained in the American psyche.’
    • ‘If you're not crisp and fresh in recognizing and releasing thoughts, you're not really meditating; you're ingraining sloppiness.’
    • ‘By contrast, business intelligence and action lag behind the current business activity if business processes are ingrained in rigid and brittle software systems.’
    • ‘I've been trying to do more, lately, but I have a hard time ingraining things as habit sometimes.’
    entrench, establish, fix, inculcate, instil, implant, root
    View synonyms


Pronunciation /ˈinˌɡrān//ˈɪnˌɡreɪn/
  • (of a textile) composed of fibers which have been dyed different colors before being woven.

    • ‘these historical Ingrain dyes for cotton developed in the 1950's are now rarely used for solid-shade dyeing.’
    • ‘Aniline black for cotton was the first ingrain color, or dye developed directly on the fiber.’
    • ‘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 colors’): 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’.