in·​hab·​it | \ in-ˈha-bət \
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 \ 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

In person, Cruz inhabits herself somehow, at an age where many women worry about signs of disintegration. Gaby Wood, Marie Claire, "Penélope Cruz Isn't Scared to Look Back," 4 Jan. 2019 Penélope Cruz inhabited her role as the Italian mogul, Donatella Versace by swiping on dark, kohl liner and embracing a platinum mane as Emily Blunt's curly, pinned crop and long lashes gave her wings as the effervescent and magical, Mary Poppins. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Best On-Screen Beauty Transformations from The 2019 Golden Globes," 3 Jan. 2019 Ludlow inhabits the space that once housed the Orbit Room, a dependable neighborhood watering hole with lousy grub—until the partners took it over last summer. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Old Habits is bar food reborn," 20 Apr. 2018 In the middle of the poem, a metaphysical transformation occurs: Wright inhabits the body of the victim and feels the experience of being lynched himself. Latria Graham, Outside Online, "We're Here. You Just Don't See Us.," 10 Apr. 2018 That’s penguin poop, an important indicator that penguins inhabit the area. Brian Resnick, Vox, "You can join the scientific quest to track penguin poop from space. It could help protect the species.," 12 Dec. 2018 Researchers believe the child, whose gender is still unknown, died after a deadly malaria outbreak afflicted the fifth-century community that once inhabited this tiny medieval town on a hill about 60 miles north of Rome. Kristine Phillips, The Seattle Times, "Archaeologists find ‘vampire burial’ site of a child feared capable of rising from the dead," 26 Oct. 2018 The anticipation of an economic boom has increased the sense of inequality, particularly among the Muslim Mwami community that has inhabited the northern coastal region since the 16th century. Nicholas Bariyo, WSJ, "Emerging Militant Group Threatens Villages, Gas Projects in Mozambique," 30 July 2018 The main attraction is an enormous rendition of a pipefish that was crafted in Denmark and pays homage to the real pipefish that are among the nearly 60 species of fish that inhabit the lower portion of the Hudson River. Jane Margolies, New York Times, "From the Slaughterhouse to the Playground," 20 June 2018

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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Statistics for inhabit

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inhabit

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

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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 \
inhabited; inhabiting

Kids Definition of inhabit

: to live or dwell in

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More from Merriam-Webster on inhabit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inhabit

Spanish Central: Translation of inhabit

Nglish: Translation of inhabit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inhabit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inhabit

What made you want to look up inhabit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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