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Borrowed from Latin inculcātus, perfect passive participle of inculcō (impress upon, force upon), from in + calcō (tread upon, trample), from calx (heel).


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɪn.kʌl.keɪt/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɪn.ˈkʌl.keɪt/
  • (file)


inculcate (third-person singular simple present inculcates, present participle inculcating, simple past and past participle inculcated)

  1. (transitive) To teach by repeated instruction.
    Synonyms: instill, ingrain
    • 1820, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Oedipus Tyrannus; Or, Swellfoot The Tyrant: A Tragedy in Two Acts:
      Those impious Pigs,
      Who, by frequent squeaks, have dared impugn
      The settled Swellfoot system, or to make
      Irreverent mockery of the genuflexions
      Inculcated by the arch-priest, have been whipt
      Into a loyal and an orthodox whine.
    • 1838 (date written), L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “(please specify the page)”, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], published 1842, →OCLC, pages 55–56:
      she had a perfect Parisian accent, was musical—all French women sing—had a great deal of tournure, the value of which she was always inculcating on her pupils: "La Grace plus belle que la beauté," was invariably the quotation when putting on her shawl; and, it must be confessed, that never did five English girls put on shawls to such perfection.
    • 1932, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World[1], London: Chatto & Windus:
      But wordless conditioning [] cannot inculcate the more complex courses of behaviour.
  2. (transitive) To induce understanding or a particular sentiment in a person or persons.
    • 1641, Francis Bacon, A Wise and Moderate Discourse, Concerning Church-Affaires:
      all preachers , especially such as be of good temper , and have wisdom with conscience , ought to inculcate and beat upon a peace , silence , and surseance
    • 1943, C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man:
      The right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments.



Etymology 1[edit]



  1. inflection of inculcare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Etymology 2[edit]


inculcate f pl

  1. feminine plural of inculcato




  1. vocative masculine singular of inculcātus




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of inculcar combined with te