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

It’s endurance—a feminine strength that may not be inherent but is certainly learned, or forced upon women in the real world. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "Captain Marvel Is a New Kind of Female Hero," 11 Mar. 2019 Also, the fear of abandonment and unstable personal relationships that are typically inherent to BPD aren’t in the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "13 Facts Everyone Should Know About Borderline Personality Disorder," 5 Dec. 2018 Indeed, their tactility is inherent to their charm. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Jeweler Pippa Small’s New Collection Was Hand-Forged 4,000 Meters Up in Bolivia," 22 Oct. 2018 This controversy is rooted in whether one of the most prized qualities of Bitcoin—its wide decentralization among unnamed users—should be inherent to all blockchains. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Is Bitcoin Better than Business Blockchains? They’re More Alike Than You Think," 1 June 2018 The fallacy inherent in this approach is first, as Mr. Epstein... WSJ, "Should We Need a Nudge to Be Free People?," 6 Mar. 2019 Because there’s something inherent to the human mind that desperately wants to personify everything. Steven Brykman, Ars Technica, "Douglas Adams was right: “Genuine people personalities” are coming to our gadgets," 22 Dec. 2018 Willing to point out the hypocrisies inherent in the airbrushed perfection that has become a commodity on social media, Jamil has become a voice of reason online, a fact that caught the attention of Aerie, the lingerie brand whose recent? Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Jameela Jamil Is a Force for Revolutionary Self-Acceptance," 25 Feb. 2019 Fries are delicious, and foods do not have inherent moral value. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "The New York Times discovers French fries aren’t healthy — and also proposes an unexpectedly brilliant solution.," 29 Nov. 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

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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