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Inherited from Middle English engreynen, from the French phrase en grain; reinforced by the phrase (dyed) in grain. See grain.



ingrain (third-person singular simple present ingrains, present participle ingraining, simple past and past participle ingrained)

  1. To make something deeply part of something else, either literally or figuratively.
    The dirt was deeply ingrained in the carpet.
    The lessons I learned at school were firmly ingrained in my mind.




ingrain (not comparable)

  1. Dyed with grain, or kermes.
  2. Dyed before manufacture; said of the material of a textile fabric; hence, in general, thoroughly inwrought; forming an essential part of the substance.
    • Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit
      When were such changes ever made in men's natural relations to one another: when was such reconcilement of ingrain differences ever effected!


ingrain (plural ingrains)

  1. An ingrain fabric, such as a carpet.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for ingrain in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)