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

Because the founders believed that everyone has an inherent right to self-defense. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Yes, Gun Ownership Is a God-Given Right," 6 Sep. 2019 Or maybe some of those upcoming Stadia exclusives will show the inherent advantages of designing a game with all this built-in cloud power in mind from the start. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Better with the cloud? Stadia gets the “fastest” Football Manager sims," 28 Aug. 2019 That means that the fundraising numbers reported Monday give challengers an inherent advantage because incumbents are reporting only about two weeks worth of fundraising. James Barragán, Dallas News, "With the Texas House at play in 2020 elections, Dallas-Fort Worth candidates draw big money," 16 July 2019 And with those inherent advantages, the rest of the app being merely okay might be good enough. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "iOS 13 hands-on: dark mode, Apple Maps, Reminders, and more," 24 June 2019 Because of its size and the impact of Title IX, the United States for decades has had an inherent advantage over the rest of the world. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: After decades of dominance, the rest of the world is catching up with the USWNT," 31 May 2019 Tyagarajan tells Susie Gharib of Fortune that given public reliance on A.I. technology, companies have a responsibility to mitigate inherent bias by expanding data sources to include multiple demographics, not just a narrow set. Damanick Dantes, Fortune, "Genpact CEO: Companies Have a Responsibility to Reduce A.I. Bias," 15 Aug. 2019 While some commenters said the school has a right to dictate its dress code, the majority were appalled that the school failed to recognize the inherent bias in the poster. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Georgia school faces backlash for photos of "appropriate" and "inappropriate" hairstyles for black students," 3 Aug. 2019 For example, Pokémon Go’s game engine drew on algorithms of Badalona which had inherent biases in the form of redlining. Larissa Hjorth, Quartz, "Social workers in Spain are prescribing Pokémon Go to fight loneliness," 8 July 2019

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

14 Sep 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 spread over or through

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