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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Four species of the flightless birds—chinstrap, gentoo, king, and macaroni—inhabit the Polar Circle exhibit (pictured, with gentoos, above) at the Central Park Zoo, whose work supports the protection of animals in the wild. The New Yorker, "A Raft of Penguins at the Central Park Zoo," 15 Jan. 2021 For far too long and in far too many spaces (workplaces, homes, campuses), women have been treated as conquests: Bodies to lay claim to and wield power over and use for pleasure, whether the women who inhabit those bodies liked it or not. Heidi Stevens, Star Tribune, "Ocasio-Cortez's shaming shows the MeToo movement's work goes on," 5 Feb. 2021 The snake's common name honors the Waray-waray people who inhabit the area where the specimens were found. Francesca Giuliani-hoffman, CNN, "Scientists discover a new species of snake hiding in plain sight," 26 Dec. 2020 But similar objects can inhabit varying landscapes. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "Obama III," 12 Dec. 2020 Ridley’s sea turtles, ocelots, and scores of birds inhabit the refuges that dot this undeveloped coastline. Joe Pappalardo, Science, "Fiery crash of SpaceX's Starship rocket ignites dreams of future spaceflight," 10 Dec. 2020 The deer inhabit open fields in warm weather and denser forests in winter. René A. Guzman,, "White-tailed deer: These icons of Texas roam most of the U.S.," 12 Jan. 2021 At the close of the 21st century, more than 11 billion people will inhabit this planet, according to the latest forecast from the United Nations’ population division. Malavika Vyawahare, Scientific American, "Can the Planet Support 11 Billion People?," 12 Aug. 2015 Hundreds of miles of sparsely populated land are pockmarked by mineral springs and taiga forests, and the deer and wolves that inhabit them. Joshua Yaffa, The New Yorker, "The Life and COVID Death of a Revered Siberian Doctor," 8 Dec. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inhabit

Time Traveler for inhabit

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for inhabit

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inhabit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!