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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Lastly, the materials inherent in manufacturing memory foam pillows often lead to off-gassing and strong chemical odors. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 20 May 2022 In order for nations to meet their climate goals and reduce emissions, country’s need to get redress the wealth-disparity inherent in individual emissions. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 18 May 2022 Unfortunately, this movie seems to once again suffer from a particular affliction inherent in scores of Netflix movies of late. Andy Meek, BGR, 17 May 2022 This evolution of character enacts a process of identity formation inherent in college students everywhere. New York Times, 13 May 2022 Government has provided incentives for wind and solar since the 1970s; the problems that remain are inherent, not entirely remediable. WSJ, 26 Apr. 2022 Across the immense fitness landscape, the coronavirus has many, many different paths to higher inherent transmissibility or immune escape. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 29 Jan. 2022 That’s not even factoring in the inherent risks of balancing an entire esports league atop the rickety shoulders of an incomplete game. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 Fidelity is also providing plan sponsors with materials and tools to educate participants about the risks and volatility inherent in investing in bitcoin. Jeanne Sahadi, CNN, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for inherent

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The first known use of inherent was in 1581

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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inherent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for inherent


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

More from Merriam-Webster on inherent

Nglish: Translation of inherent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inherent for Arabic Speakers


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