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[in-kuhl-keyt, in-kuhl-keyt] /ɪnˈkʌl keɪt, ˈɪn kʌlˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), inculcated, inculcating.
to implant by repeated statement or admonition; teach persistently and earnestly (usually followed by upon or in):
to inculcate virtue in the young.
to cause or influence (someone) to accept an idea or feeling (usually followed by with):
Socrates inculcated his pupils with the love of truth.
Origin of inculcate
1540-50; < Latin inculcātus past participle of inculcāre to trample, impress, stuff in, equivalent to in- in-2 + culc- (variant, in noninitial position, of calc-, stem of calx heel) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
inculcation, noun
[in-kuhl-kuh-tiv] /ɪnˈkʌl kə tɪv/ (Show IPA),
inculcatory, adjective
inculcator, noun
Can be confused
inculcate, indoctrinate.
1. instill, infix, ingrain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for inculcate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Where, laddie—where are a' the precepts I endeavoured to inculcate into you now?

  • But in that I have never omitted to inculcate a strict adherence to the principles of it.

    Patrick Henry Moses Coit Tyler
  • Although a body professing to inculcate pure spiritual truths, the church teaches the grossest form of materialism.

    Woman, Church & State Matilda Joslyn Gage
  • To stern moralists it is an occasion for the hard lessons they love to inculcate.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • The poet was to labor for the advancement of what he felt to be unholy—he was to inculcate what would lower the perfection of man.

    Complete Prose Works Walt Whitman
  • That's the way to inculcate a filthy pharisaic conceit into a child.

  • He begins to explain to them the mysteries of wisdom, and to inculcate them with those precepts with which he was imbued.

    The Awakening of the Soul Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Malik Ibn Tufail
  • He had never endeavored to inculcate knowledge of a positive sort in his pupils.

    Old Fogy James Huneker
British Dictionary definitions for inculcate


/ˈɪnkʌlˌkeɪt; ɪnˈkʌlkeɪt/
(transitive) to instil by forceful or insistent repetition
Derived Forms
inculcation, noun
inculcator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin inculcāre to tread upon, ram down, from in-² + calcāre to trample, from calx heel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for inculcate

to cause to accept a belief or idea through repetition

Word Origin

Latin in- + calcare 'to trample''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for inculcate

1540s, from Latin inculcatus, past participle of inculcare "force upon, stamp in, tread down," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + calcare "to tread, press in," from calx (1) "heel." Related: Inculcated; inculcating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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