in·​hab·​it | \ in-ˈha-bət How to pronounce inhabit (audio) \
inhabited; inhabiting; inhabits

Definition of inhabit

transitive verb

1 : to occupy as a place of settled residence or habitat : live in inhabit a small house
2 : to be present in or occupy in any manner or form the human beings who inhabit this tale— Al Newman

intransitive verb

archaic : to have residence in a place : dwell

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Other Words from inhabit

inhabitable \ in-​ˈha-​bə-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce inhabit (audio) \ adjective
inhabiter noun

Examples of inhabit in a Sentence

Several hundred species of birds inhabit the island. This part of the country is inhabited by native tribes. There is a romantic quality that inhabits all her paintings. The novel is inhabited by a cast of eccentric characters.
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Recent Examples on the Web For years, Tatmadaw propaganda has promoted Buddhist nationalism among Myanmar’s dominant Bamar ethnic group, which makes up two-thirds of the population, while fueling divisions with ethnic minorities that inhabit border areas. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "As Myanmar protests continue, a glimmer of greater unity," 9 Apr. 2021 Ghosts inhabit what’s left of the world after an apocalyptic event. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week ‘Pulp Fiction’ on BBC America and IFC," 9 Apr. 2021 The hope was to inhabit the world the way Woody Allen did, as both conspirator and judge. Ginia Bellafante, New York Times, "Why My Teenage Self Gave Woody Allen a Pass," 5 Mar. 2021 If your business is located in a low-income area that Black people and people of color predominantly inhabit, then there’s a higher chance that your business loan application will be denied. Brooklyn White, Essence, "What Black Women Need To Know About Business Loans," 5 Jan. 2021 That Ptacek cover is an instrumental, but Foul's lyrics offer ample opportunities for artists to inhabit what he's written. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, "'I am so humbled by the love': Arizona musicians lift up a local icon as he battles cancer," 12 Mar. 2021 Our work facilitates dialogue that sparks action and conversation, challenges the status quo, and fosters our readers’ abilities to learn about and inhabit different perspectives within and without Latinidad. Thatiana Diaz,, "Dear Zoe Saldaña: I’m A Proud Dominican. I Also Want To See Us Address Anti-Blackness," 2 Mar. 2021 Yet while the cows’ bacteria merely inhabit the animals’ stomach, the bacteria in the ants live inside their gut cells as endosymbionts. Quanta Magazine, "How Two Became One: Origins of a Mysterious Symbiosis Found," 9 Sep. 2020 Israel’s formal annexation that is planned would leave only noncontiguous enclaves for Palestinians to inhabit in their ancestral lands, erasing all hope for a viable, independent state of their own. Mary Christine Bader, Star Tribune, "Admit it: The two-state solution for Palestine is dead," 7 Aug. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inhabit

Middle English enhabiten, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French inhabiter, enhabiter, from Latin inhabitare, from in- + habitare to dwell, frequentative of habēre to have — more at give

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Time Traveler for inhabit

Time Traveler

The first known use of inhabit was in the 14th century

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Statistics for inhabit

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inhabit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for inhabit



English Language Learners Definition of inhabit

: to live in (a place) : to have a home in (a place)
: to be present in (something)


in·​hab·​it | \ in-ˈha-bət How to pronounce inhabit (audio) \
inhabited; inhabiting

Kids Definition of inhabit

: to live or dwell in

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Comments on inhabit

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