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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web An estimated 1,000 desert tortoises inhabit the Gemini site. Jim Carlton, WSJ, 4 June 2021 Straining for the best metaphor to describe a fractured city, the mayor said people inhabit two planets with opposing views of the policing debate. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 May 2021 There is a wide world out there, and once again many of us are able to inhabit it safely as the pandemic ebbs and restrictions lift. Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2021 Finland is a country of lush forests, and some Marimekko prints explore the fairy tale aspect of the deep, dark woods and the creatures that inhabit them in real life, or in the imagination. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, 21 May 2021 That is, if the fish do indeed inhabit the waters all around the island. Mike Wehner, BGR, 21 May 2021 While this marks the start of the journey for Studio Janettie, the creative pair are already planning for what’s next, expanding on their love for merging classic patterns with bold colour tones to bring joy to the spaces the designs will inhabit. Roddy Clarke, Forbes, 19 May 2021 Thanks to one of the biggest data studies of its kind, researchers have managed to put a number on how many wild birds inhabit the planet. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 19 May 2021 Excavations of the site have turned up enough to suggest that people of the Thule culture—precursors to the Inuit and Yup’ik who now inhabit Alaska’s northwestern coasts—built it. Sarah Gilman, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Oct. 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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inhabit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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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