pleasing or flattering in a way that is intended to win favor or gain acceptance.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



charming, flattering, obsequious, sycophantic, servile, fawning, smarmy, insincere, manipulative.


Displeasing, unappealing, unattractive, unflattering, repellent, repulsive, rude, blunt, straightforward.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun None
Verb ingratiating, ingratiate, ingratiates, ingratiated
Adjective ingratiatory, ingratiating
Adverb ingratiatingly

Example Sentences

  • The lawyer’s ingratiating manner won over the jury and helped secure his client’s acquittal.

  • The politician’s ingratiating smile and friendly gestures towards the crowd were not enough to make up for his lack of substance.

  • The new employee engaged in constant ingratiating behavior towards her boss in the hope of getting a promotion.

  • Lydia’s ingratiating personality made her well-liked amongst her colleagues, but some saw through her façade and found her disingenuous.


The word “ingratiating” is often used to describe behavior or actions that are done in an effort to please or gain favor from another person, often in a disingenuous or manipulative way. It can be a useful term in interpersonal relationships, describing actions that may come across as insincere or superficially friendly.

The root word of ingratiating is “gratiate,” which means to make oneself agreeable or pleasing to someone. The addition of the prefix “in-” changes the meaning slightly, indicating that the action is done in order to gain favor or acceptance from the person. The suffix “-ing” denotes that the word is used as a present participle or adjective, describing an ongoing or continuous action.

Ingratiating behavior can be seen in a variety of situations, such as in the workplace or in social relationships. It may involve flattery, insincere compliments, or excessive friendliness. While it can be effective in gaining someone’s favor or support, it can also be seen as manipulative or dishonest.

It is important to note that not all behaviors that are intended to please others are necessarily ingratiating. Genuine kindness or empathy towards others, for example, is not the same as ingratiating behavior. It is the insincere and often calculated nature of ingratiating actions that sets it apart.

Overall, the word “ingratiating” can be a useful way to describe actions meant to please or gain acceptance from others, but it is important to consider the motivations behind these actions and whether they are truly genuine.