inhibit

verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhi-bət How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \
inhibited; inhibiting; inhibits

Definition of inhibit

transitive verb

1 : to prohibit from doing something
2a : to hold in check : restrain
b : to discourage from free or spontaneous activity especially through the operation of inner psychological or external social constraints

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Other Words from inhibit

inhibitive \ in-​ˈhi-​bə-​tiv How to pronounce inhibitive (audio) \ adjective
inhibitory \ in-​ˈhi-​bə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce inhibitory (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for inhibit

forbid, prohibit, interdict, inhibit mean to debar one from doing something or to order that something not be done. forbid implies that the order is from one in authority and that obedience is expected. smoking is forbidden in the building prohibit suggests the issuing of laws, statutes, or regulations. prohibited the sale of liquor interdict implies prohibition by civil or ecclesiastical authority usually for a given time or a declared purpose. practices interdicted by the church inhibit implies restraints or restrictions that amount to prohibitions, not only by authority but also by the exigencies of the time or situation. conditions inhibiting the growth of free trade

Examples of inhibit in a Sentence

You shouldn't allow fear of failure to inhibit you. He was inhibited by modesty. Fear can inhibit people from expressing their opinions. drugs that are used to inhibit infection Strict laws are inhibiting economic growth.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The vinegar helps inhibit the growth of bacteria and keeps your flowers fresher longer. Carly Orleach, Woman's Day, "How to Make Fresh Flowers Last Longer," 15 Feb. 2019 Imagine if it had been employed to alert the media to the dubious, longstanding, likely fraudulent science of radiation risk that has so inhibited the development of nuclear power. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Big Names Bake a Climate Pie in the Sky," 18 Jan. 2019 An antioxidant that boosts collagen production and inhibits pigment formation. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 New research from Germany’s University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein suggests wearing neckties may lower blood flow to the brain and ultimately inhibit creativity and analytical thinking. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Men’s ties may reduce blood flow to the brain and limit work performance, study suggests," 10 July 2018 These chemicals have also been shown to degrade corals’ resiliency and ability to adjust to climate change factors and inhibit recruitment of new corals. Lindsey Bever, The Seattle Times, "Hawaii is about to ban popular sunscreen brands to protect its coral reefs," 2 July 2018 But the fruit bat’s NK receptor genes appear to activate and inhibit NK cell function. Lucy Cooke, Washington Post, "The batty, explosive history of bats in the military — and why this new idea just might work," 2 July 2018 Our results show that inhibiting DNA damage signaling can improve the efficiency of precision genome editing in normal, untransformed cells. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Archived chat: last week in CRISPR — cancer, patents, and a dip in the market," 19 June 2018 Both areas are tourist destinations and the fires could inhibit the towns from making any money this summer, Hubbell wrote. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Couple takes wedding photos amid wildfire blazing in Colorado," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inhibit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inhibit

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inhibit

Middle English, from Latin inhibitus, past participle of inhibēre, from in- in- entry 2 + habēre to have — more at habit entry 1

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Statistics for inhibit

Last Updated

8 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inhibit

The first known use of inhibit was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for inhibit

inhibit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of inhibit

: to keep (someone) from doing what he or she wants to do
: to prevent or slow down the activity or occurrence of (something)

inhibit

verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhi-bət How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \
inhibited; inhibiting

Kids Definition of inhibit

: to prevent or hold back from doing something Shyness inhibited her in making new friends.

inhibit

transitive verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhib-ət How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \

Medical Definition of inhibit

1a : to restrain from free or spontaneous activity especially through the operation of inner psychological or external social constraints an inhibited person
b : to check or restrain the force or vitality of inhibit aggressive tendencies
2a : to reduce or suppress the activity of a presynaptic neuron can not only excite a postsynaptic neuron but can also inhibit it— H. W. Kendler
b : to retard or prevent the formation of
c : to retard, interfere with, or prevent (a process or reaction) inhibit ovulation

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More from Merriam-Webster on inhibit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inhibit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inhibit

Spanish Central: Translation of inhibit

Nglish: Translation of inhibit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inhibit for Arabic Speakers

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