in·​born | \ ˈin-ˈbȯrn How to pronounce inborn (audio) \

Definition of inborn

1 : present from or as if from birth

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Choose the Right Synonym for inborn

innate, inborn, inbred, congenital, hereditary mean not acquired after birth. innate applies to qualities or characteristics that are part of one's inner essential nature. an innate sense of fair play inborn suggests a quality or tendency either actually present at birth or so marked and deep-seated as to seem so. her inborn love of nature inbred suggests something either acquired from parents by heredity or so deeply rooted and ingrained as to seem acquired in that way. inbred political loyalties congenital and hereditary refer to what is acquired before or at birth, the former to things acquired during fetal development and the latter to things transmitted from one's ancestors. a congenital heart murmur eye color is hereditary

Examples of inborn in a Sentence

She has an inborn talent for music. That kind of knowledge is acquired, not inborn.

Recent Examples on the Web

The torments of politics are the fault of family life, with all its resentments and inborn (or inbred) rivalries, projected onto a political scale. Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, "Sam Shepard Saw It All Coming," 11 July 2019 Some individuals may have an inborn resistance to a chemical while others do not. Brian Resnick, Vox, "One big reason you can’t get rid of cockroaches," 3 July 2019 Any portrayal of gay men as a lab-pure reduction of maleness—whether inborn or socially constructed—is too simple. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Cruising in the Age of Consent," 19 June 2019 Of course, like any form of humor, carnival has weaknesses—particularly, an inborn tendency toward the nihilism of lulz. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 May 2019 Monkeys, on the other hand, are stuck with an inborn set of hoots and screams. Quanta Magazine, "The Beasts That Keep the Beat," 22 Mar. 2016 The entire industry of baby-proofing grows out of their inborn need to touch, see, taste, and experience the world around them. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "How to Keep Curiosity Alive," 30 May 2019 That willingness to interact peacefully with others, even strangers, is inborn. Richard Wrangham, WSJ, "Humans: The Domesticated Primates," 10 Jan. 2019 Varicose veins result from inborn vein characteristics, not leg position. New York Times, "A Small Price for Sitting Pretty," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inborn.' 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 inborn

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near inborn







inbounds line

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Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for inborn

The first known use of inborn was in 1513

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English Language Learners Definition of inborn

: existing from the time someone is born : natural or instinctive


in·​born | \ ˈin-ˈbȯrn How to pronounce inborn (audio) \

Kids Definition of inborn

: existing from the time someone is born : natural or instinctive She has an inborn talent for music.


in·​born | \ ˈin-ˈbȯ(ə)rn How to pronounce inborn (audio) \

Medical Definition of inborn

: hereditary, inherited inborn errors of metabolism

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More from Merriam-Webster on inborn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inborn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inborn

Spanish Central: Translation of inborn

Nglish: Translation of inborn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inborn for Arabic Speakers

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characterized by aphorism

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