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 This talent for inhabiting characters carries over into her writing: Mr. Nobody and Emma Lewis, though invented, seem so real. Carol Memmott, Washington Post, "Best known for her role on ‘Downton Abbey,’ Catherine Steadman is making a splash as an author," 2 Jan. 2020 In a city where land is scarce and much of life is vertically stacked, people have to find ways of inhabiting the spaces in between. Bo Seo, The Atlantic, "Parasite and the Curse of Closeness," 22 Oct. 2019 There’s too much of it, and Anthony and Miranda seem to be impersonating rather than inhabiting their characters. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Soulful, sorrowful performance propels Pulitzer winner ‘Between Riverside and Crazy’," 21 Oct. 2019 The effect, uncanny and thrilling, is that of directly inhabiting Regan’s mind. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "“Burn the Place” Is a Thrilling, Disquieting Memoir of Addiction and Coming of Age," 15 Oct. 2019 The rockwork that surrounds the village shows its age and its centuries-old history of being inhabited with roof structures, little windows, and indentations. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "How Disney Built a Star Wars Planet," 3 June 2019 Speaking of Prentice, the space his Coach Insignia restaurant inhabited atop the RenCen for most of the past two decades was replaced by a trio of new concepts from James Beard-winning chef Shawn McClain (Highlands, High Bar, Hearth71). Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's big restaurant stories in 2019 — and what to look forward to in 2020," 31 Dec. 2019 Playing Mitch Kessler, a TV host fired after news of his abuses broke in The New York Times, Steve Carell seemed to relish inhabiting the role of an amiable, beloved monster. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "What Went Wrong With The Morning Show?," 21 Dec. 2019 For someone who’s walked in Antarctica, the inhabited north of Russia may be doable. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This Is the Longest Walkable Distance on Earth," 19 Dec. 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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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

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inhabit.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 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

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 express in a more acceptable way

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