Definition of inclination in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌinkləˈnāSH(ə)n/


1A person’s natural tendency or urge to act or feel in a particular way; a disposition or propensity: John was a scientist by training and inclination he was free to follow his inclinations
More example sentences
  • From foxhounds to sheep dogs, none can be successful in their natural inclinations without proper training.
  • Previous conflicts between their natural inclinations and their fears would be resolved firmly in favour of the left.
  • All of my natural inclinations registered heavily on the Watchtower sin-o-meter.
tendency, propensity, proclivity, leaning, predisposition, disposition, predilection, desire, wish, impulse, bent, bias;
liking, affection, penchant, partiality, preference, appetite, fancy, interest, affinity;
stomach, taste
informal yen
1.1 (inclination for/to/toward) An interest in or liking for (something): Burger King and Wendy’s didn’t show any inclination to jump into a price war with McDonald’s
More example sentences
  • Muslim organisations who collect zakat have their own agenda and have no interest or inclination to take up the cause of these poor Muslims.
  • The various publics, having other interests or no inclination toward foreign matters short of war, tended toward apathy.
  • Through her I have satisfied many inclinations to revenge.
2A slope or slant: changes in inclination of the line on the graph
More example sentences
  • Vicinal faces are typically only hundredths of one degree in inclination from the main crystal face on which they form.
  • An inclination of 0 degrees would mean the orbit is perfectly aligned with Earth's orbital plane.
  • Slope inclination and aspect were recorded at several locations within each stand.
2.1A bending of the body or head in a bow: the questioner’s inclination of his head
More example sentences
  • That most people walk in an ungraceful, ungainly and awkward manner with a forward inclination of the body does not mean that it is the normal way of walking.
  • A slight inclination of Roxy's head indicated to Helen that she knew about her estrangement from Tim.
  • A slight inclination of Alvito's head was all the acknowledgement this pledge received.
bowing, bow, bending, nod, nodding, lowering
2.2The dip of a magnetic needle.
Example sentences
  • The third possible explanation for the shallow inclination of the high temperature component of magnetization is that the dykes were rotated about horizontal axes after magnetization.
  • The higher coercivity component has a inclination that is steeper than expected and a NW declination.
  • This component has both reversed and normal polarity, with an average declination of 320 and an inclination of -13 deg.
3The angle at which a straight line or plane is inclined to another.
Example sentences
  • Dichroic ratios R, order parameter S, and inclination angle between membrane plans and diglucosamine ring plane.
  • For example, it is likely that the angle of inclination of the pectoral fin base constrains the range of directions in which force may be applied on the fluid during swimming.
  • For example, at each location on the globe, the geomagnetic field lines intersect the Earth's surface at a specific angle of inclination.
3.1 Astronomy The angle between the orbital plane of a planet, comet, etc., and the ecliptic, or between the orbital plane of a satellite and the equatorial plane of its primary.
Example sentences
  • Because of the Mercury's high orbital inclination, it can be seen crossing the disk of the sun only rarely.
  • From that ellipse one can, in principle, determine the inclination of the planet's orbital plane.
  • He's based this idea on a study of the angle, or inclination, of asteroid orbits.
3.2 Astronomy The angle between the axis of an astronomical object and a fixed reference angle.
Example sentences
  • ‘Some scientists believe that the monarchs sense the inclination of the earth by the changing autumn light,’ he says.
  • He also hypothesized that the Mid-Paleogene cooling resulted from a sudden shift in the angle of inclination of the Earth's axis of rotation.
  • The most plausible conclusion is that the inclination of Jupiter's axis is automatically changing, as we know the Earth's has often done.


Late Middle English: from Latin inclinatio(n-), from inclinare 'bend toward' (see incline).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·cli·na·tion

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