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 inhabitable (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

Her family inhabited the most sinister home located in Mill Valley. Guy Hanford, Ramona Sentinel, "Flickers: ‘Brian Banks’ and ‘The Kitchen’ open Friday," 8 Aug. 2019 Pleasant Grove had appealed a lower courts’ denial of its efforts to annex two parcels of land - one vacant and the other inhabited by a few whites. Anna Beahm |, al, "Pleasant Grove: A story of change at the hand of Mother Nature and the judge’s gavel," 28 July 2019 Can Xue, translation by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen A novel about a group of women who inhabit a world of constant surveillance. Amanda Shendruk, Quartzy, "Here’s what every Chinese book recently translated for the US is about," 27 July 2019 In many cases the wreckage has become part of the living reef and is overgrown with corals and sponges, inhabited by fish and crustaceans. John Christopher Fine,, "SS Copenhagen shipwreck home to picture-perfect artificial reef," 18 July 2019 Silva's hero, Gabriel Allon, who inhabits the bizarre but fascinating dual roles of international spy and art restorer, weighs in on Salvator Mundi early on. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Daniel Silva's new novel features Leonardo da Vinci painting with a Dallas connection," 18 July 2019 Enteric bacteria normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals and exposure to it can cause disease, infections or rashes. Leada Gore |,, "Panama City Beach access spot advisory remains due to fecal pollution," 17 July 2019 Spider mites are small pests that inhabit the bottom of the tomato leaves and make their living by sucking the juices from the plant. Calvin Finch,, "Fall tomato season is almost here," 12 July 2019 This is the virtial world China seems to want its gamers to inhabit. Jane Li, Quartz, "The next stage in China’s fight against gaming addiction could ban “puppy love”," 28 June 2019

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

16 Aug 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 How to pronounce inhabit (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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 shake or wave menacingly

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