All major dictionaries provide the usage of the verb "ingratiate" as "ingratiate oneself with people". However, I just came across this line:

Since the outset of last season, Curry has cut down on his circus shots, in part to ingratiate Durant. (source)

With A ingratiates Aself with B being the common structure, I have seen a relatively uncommon, reflexive-less structure of the word: A ingratiates A with B, but I am hard-pressed to find any attestations of A ingratiates B. I haven't found any examples of this structure in Google Books. It is difficult to do an effective targeted search. Is this usage idiomatic?


The definition of the word means to bring oneself into favour with someone through flattery or similar means.

You would therefore only use it to describe a person's own efforts to gain favour for themselves, for example:

He tried to ingratiate himself with management.

It would not be correct to use "ingratiate" to mean one person's efforts on behalf of another, for example, if person A was trying to gain favour for person B from a third party. That would just be a recommendation.

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