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 Scientists traced dozens of unnamed, emerging viruses to caves inhabited by horseshoe bats. Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, "How Climate Change Is Contributing to Skyrocketing Rates of Infectious Disease," 7 May 2020 The big promises were empty while tens of thousands were enslaved (and that is without considering the near-destruction of the native peoples who inhabited this fertile continent). Eric Foner,, "THE SECOND FOUNDING: HOW THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION REMADE THE CONSTITUTION," 4 Oct. 2019 The frightening epidemiological encounter prepared her for a visit later to the hard-to-access Amazon basin region of Peru, and specifically a remote site inhabited by the Machiguenga people. NBC News, "Isolated indigenous tribes risk extinction from coronavirus, experts say," 22 Apr. 2020 The characters are mostly standard issue, small-town types inhabited by a good supporting cast that includes Jordana Spiro, Shea Whigham, Malin Akerman and Tony Hale. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Like a teenage spin on Todd Haynes, ‘To the Stars’ delivers bittersweet take on the past," 22 Apr. 2020 Created by Katsuya Eguchi for Nintendo, Animal Crossing is a video game series where players get to control their own avatar while living in a village inhabited by talking animals. Corinne Sullivan, Woman's Day, "What Is Animal Crossing? It's a Virtual Game That's Fun For Both Adults and Kids," 19 Apr. 2020 The distant moon of Pandora is an unspoiled paradise, a Day-Glo mix of floating mountains and dense forests inhabited by lithe aliens that exist in concert with nature. David Sims, The Atlantic, "22 Movies About the End of the World to Watch Now," 18 Apr. 2020 Black Widow's new home of Nov. 6 used to belong to Eternals, which now goes out on Feb. 12, 2021, a date previously inhabited by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Rings. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Black Widow,' 'Mulan' Land New 2020 Release Dates, 'Jungle Cruise' Delayed a Year," 3 Apr. 2020 The homeland, inhabited by ancestral spirits, was a living being, and the severing of ties with it was more painful than the loss of a family member. Scientific American, "How Disaster Aid Ravaged an Island People," 25 Mar. 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inhabit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for inhabit


How to pronounce inhabit (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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