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[in-stil] /ɪnˈstɪl/
verb (used with object), instilled, instilling.


[in-stil] /ɪnˈstɪl/
verb (used with object)
to infuse slowly or gradually into the mind or feelings; insinuate; inject:
to instill courtesy in a child.
to put in drop by drop.
Origin of instill
1525-35; < Latin instillāre, equivalent to in- in-2 + stillāre to drip; see distill
Related forms
instiller, noun
instillment, noun
preinstill, verb (used with object)
Can be confused
install, instill.
1. inculcate, introduce. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for instilled
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Orthodoxy had instilled a formal, but often spiritless faith.

    Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark Jens Christian Aaberg
  • Demagogues had not instilled in the minds of the ignorant that to be governed was to be oppressed.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • Instead of disheartening the team it instilled in us determination.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
  • His trainer's words had instilled a drop of poison into his cup.

    The Country House John Galsworthy
  • In the short time of his stay he had instilled into the heathen mind the dim, vague, and elusive idea of the Brotherhood of Man.

    Sanders of the River Edgar Wallace
British Dictionary definitions for instilled


verb (transitive) -stils, -stills, -stilling, -stilled
to introduce gradually; implant or infuse
(rare) to pour in or inject in drops
Derived Forms
instiller, noun
instilment, (US) instillment, instillation, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin instillāre to pour in a drop at a time, from stillāre to drip
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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Word Origin and History for instilled



also instil, early 15c., "to introduce (liquid, feelings, etc.) little by little," from Latin instillare "put in by drops, to drop, trickle," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + stilla "a drop" (see distill). Related: Instilled; instilling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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instilled in Medicine

instill in·still (ĭn-stĭl')
v. in·stilled, in·still·ing, in·stills
To pour in drop by drop.

in'stil·la'tion (ĭn'stə-lā'shən) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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