What is the difference between Insinuate and Ingratiate?

The difference between insinuate and ingratiate

is that "insinuate" is to hint; to suggest tacitly while avoiding a direct statement and "ingratiate" is to bring oneself into favour with someone by flattering or trying to please him or her.




  • To hint; to suggest tacitly (usually something bad) while avoiding a direct statement.
  • (rare) To creep, wind, or flow into; to enter gently, slowly, or imperceptibly, as into crevices.
  • (figurative, by extension) To ingratiate; to obtain access to or introduce something by subtle, cunning or artful means.


  • allude

Related terms

  • insinuation
  • insinuator


  • She insinuated that her friends had betrayed her.
  • The water easily insinuates itself into, and placidly distends, the vessels of vegetables.
  • Nanny didn’t so much enter places as insinuate herself; she had unconsciously taken a natural talent for liking people and developed it into an occult science.
  • All the art of rhetoric, besides order and clearness, are for nothing else but to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment.
  • Horace laughs to shame all follies and insinuates virtue, rather by familiar examples than by the severity of precepts.
  • He […] insinuated himself into the very good grace of the Duke of Buckingham.
  • he insinuated himself into the confidence of one already so forlorn


  • (reflexive) To bring oneself into favour with someone by flattering or trying to please him or her.
  • (followed by to) To recommend; to render easy or agreeable.

Related terms

  • ingratiating (adjective)
  • ingratiation (noun)


  • [H]e considered this offering an homage to his merits, and an attempt on the part of the heiress to ingratiate herself into his priceless affections.
  • [H]e would pat the children on the head when he saw them on the stairs, and ingratiate himself with them as far as he dared.
  • And it is symptomatic of the many paradoxes of Lederer’s life that of all the people in the room, Brotherhood is the one whom he would most wish to serve, if ever he had the opportunity, even though — or perhaps because — his occasional efforts to ingratiate himself with his adopted hero have met with iron rebuff.
  • He ingratiated himself with the Kurdish bloc when he stood up to aggressive Turkish rhetoric about the Kurdish border in May.
  • What difficulty would it [the love of Christ] not ingratiate to us?