Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
as the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined
proverb One's actions as an adult are dictated by behaviors learned in childhood. I can't believe she still doesn't listen to other people. I guess it's true that as the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined.
incline (one's) ear
To listen intently, attentively, and receptively (to what someone is saying). the phrase is used in several places in the Bible, usually in reference to listening to God. You need to learn to incline your ear to the words of wisdom your elders have to offer. The representative pleaded with world leaders to incline their ears to her country's distress.
incline away (from someone or something)
To tilt or slant away from someone or something. Please don't tell me that the attic is inclining away from the rest of the house.
1. To lean or tilt forward. I inclined forward to see if that would loosen up my tight back muscles.
2. To cause something to lean or tilt forward. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "incline" and "forward." If you can't reach the table, just incline your chair forward.
incline toward (someone or something)
1. To physically lean or tilt toward someone or something. The way those branches are inclining toward our house is really starting to worry me.
2. By extension, to feel or show a preference for someone or something. I haven't been feeling well all week, so I'm inclined toward staying in this weekend. Honestly, I'm inclined toward Sharon—I just think she'd make a better mayor.
inclined to (do something)
Likely or apt to do something. I hope the boss isn't inclined to fire the person responsible for the printing error. Oh, I'm always inclined to have a piece of cake—let's see the dessert menu!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined.
Prov. A grown person will act the way he or she was taught to act as a child. Alice's parents thought it was cute when she threw tantrums, and you'll notice that she still throws tantrums now that she's grown up. As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined. Don't encourage your son to be so greedy. As the twig is bent, so is the tree inclined.
to lean forward; to slant forward. The earthquake-ravaged building inclined forward a little bit more and looked as if it was going to fall. My chair inclined forward and I kept feeling as if I were going to fall off.
incline something forward
to lean something forward; to make something slant forward. Incline the light forward a little bit, so you can see better. The fence had been inclined slightly forward to make it harder to climb.
inclined to do something
to tend to do something; to lean toward doing something. Tom is inclined to tell jokes when he is with a group of people. I am inclined to go to the beach tomorrow if it doesn't rain.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Tending or disposed toward, as in I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. [Mid-1300s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.