in·​her·​ent | \ in-ˈher-ənt How to pronounce inherent (audio) also -ˈhir- How to pronounce inherent (audio) \

Definition of inherent

: involved in the constitution or essential character of something : belonging by nature or habit : intrinsic risks inherent in the venture

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Other Words from inherent

inherently adverb

Don't Get Stuck on the Meaning of Inherent

Inherent literally refers to something that is "stuck in" something else so firmly that they can't be separated. A plan may have an inherent flaw that will cause it to fail; a person may have inherent virtues that everyone admires. Since the flaw and the virtues can't be removed, the plan may simply have to be thrown out and the person will remain virtuous forever.

Examples of inherent in a Sentence

It is one more proof that our world has lost the kind of exquisite sensibility displayed by John Milton when he came up with his definition of poetry. He first wrote "simple, sensual, and passionate," but he was bothered by the grossness inherent in "sensual," and so he invented the word "sensuous." — Florence King, National Review, 24 Sept. 2007 There were those who trusted the innate goodness of humanity, and those who believed in its inherent crookedness. — Terry Eagleton, Harper's, March 2005 The problem … is inherent and perennial in any democracy, but it has been more severe in ours during the past quarter-century because of the near universal denigration of government, politics and politicians. — Michael Kinsley, Time, 29 Oct. 2001 He has an inherent sense of fair play. an inherent concept of justice
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Recent Examples on the Web

Yet the death of 26 horses at Santa Anita since Dec. 26, the mounting pressures and investigations that have resulted and the inherent risks in tempting fate all argue for a change of venue, and most likely a return to Churchill Downs. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Will the Breeders’ Cup stay at Santa Anita?," 3 June 2019 Despite a few inherent risks, Volvo invited me to come build a 2019 S60 at their new 1,600-acre plant in Charleston, SC. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Working the Line: What's It's Like To Build a Volvo S60," 23 May 2019 There is inherent risk in handing off more of what humans do in a high-risk environment to ML or AI that few people understand. Alyson Behr, Ars Technica, "More than an auto-pilot, AI charts its course in aviation," 5 Dec. 2018 Being chased within the physical confines of The Haunted Trail by a chain saw carrying maniac is a fundamental part and inherent risk of this amusement. Randy Maniloff, WSJ, "But Your Honor, It Was Halloween!," 30 Oct. 2018 Land, the driver who captured the crash on his rear camera, said there's inherent risk in race car driving. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Driver survives “crazy” wreck at Alaska race track," 11 June 2018 All of us that are playing the game understand that there are inherent risks that come along with playing the game. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc: What's there to say about Cincinnati Reds? Also, an idea for fixing the NFL kickoff," 23 Apr. 2018 Obama may have missed an opportunity to intervene constructively in 2012, but then as now, Russia’s interests in Syria were much stronger than ours and the inherent risks of confrontation with Moscow were significant. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "Syria Strikes Show, Once Again, That We Can’t Police the World by Bombing It," 17 Apr. 2018 There’s an inherent risk for Campbell that SDSU, uncertain about his status, might land another guard over the next month. Mark Zeigler,, "SDSU basketball recruit asks for his release but may still come," 11 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inherent.' 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 inherent

1581, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inherent

Latin inhaerent-, inhaerens, present participle of inhaerēre — see inhere

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Statistics for inherent

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for inherent

The first known use of inherent was in 1581

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More Definitions for inherent



English Language Learners Definition of inherent

formal : belonging to the basic nature of someone or something


in·​her·​ent | \ in-ˈhir-ənt How to pronounce inherent (audio) , -ˈher-\

Kids Definition of inherent

: belonging to or being a part of the nature of a person or thing She has an inherent sense of fairness.

Other Words from inherent

inherently adverb


in·​her·​ent | \ in-ˈhir-ənt How to pronounce inherent (audio) , in-ˈher- How to pronounce inherent (audio) \

Medical Definition of inherent

: involved in the constitution or essential character of something : belonging by nature the skin's inherent elasticity— Kathleen C. Engles

Other Words from inherent

inherently adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on inherent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inherent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inherent

Spanish Central: Translation of inherent

Nglish: Translation of inherent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inherent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inherent

What made you want to look up inherent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a tendency to relapse

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