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?

1 Answer 1


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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