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

This inhibits creativity, as people specialize in the preferences of a handful of editors to get ahead, while economists whose studies don’t conform to what is published in these journals get left behind. Eshe Nelson, Quartz, "Economics needs to do more than attract women to solve its gender problem," 11 June 2019 Other research suggests that a 2 percent topical niacinamide may also inhibit the production of oil, which could be beneficial to people dealing with acne. A.a. Newton, SELF, "Here’s What Niacinamide Can—and Can’t—Do for Your Skin," 8 May 2019 Along with being an insecticide, the product is a virucide, bactericide (and inhibits bacterial growth), sanitizer and deodorant, mildewcide and fungicide. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Once and For All," 6 Nov. 2018 Scientists at the University of Washington and Harbor-UCLA are running clinical trials for other methods—a pill, a transdermal gel, and an injection—that would temporarily inhibit sperm production. Danielle Friedman, Glamour, "Why Male Birth Control Should Exist, According to These Four Men," 20 Aug. 2018 America has long sought to inhibit the commercial development of radar satellites, so powerful are their surveillance properties. The Economist, "A new business in small satellites orbiting the Earth," 15 June 2019 Assuming the berg doesn’t break apart en route and the flotilla makes it to Cape Town, another piece of expensive kit will be required, notes Bloomberg: a $22 million geotextile skirt for the underwater portion of the berg, to inhibit melting. Steve Mollman, Quartz, "Water shortages could make iceberg delivery routine," 8 June 2019 In addition to that whole sustaining a new life thing.) Progesterone: This hormone appears able to inhibit libido to an extent, though experts aren’t totally sure how or why. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "10 Questions You’ve Always Wondered About Your Libido," 15 May 2019 For bare drywall, use a PVA (polyvinyl acetate) paint, seal over stains and hide colors with a high-hiding primer sealer, and for painting bare steel make sure to get paint with anodic zinc protection to inhibit rust. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The 4 Biggest Painting Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)," 16 Jan. 2019

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

12 Jul 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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