inhibit

verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhi-bət \
inhibited; inhibiting; inhibits

Definition of inhibit

transitive verb

1 : to prohibit from doing something
2a : to hold in check : restrain
b : to discourage from free or spontaneous activity especially through the operation of inner psychological or external social constraints

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Other Words from inhibit

inhibitive \ in-​ˈhi-​bə-​tiv \ adjective
inhibitory \ in-​ˈhi-​bə-​ˌtȯr-​ē \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for inhibit

forbid, prohibit, interdict, inhibit mean to debar one from doing something or to order that something not be done. forbid implies that the order is from one in authority and that obedience is expected. smoking is forbidden in the building prohibit suggests the issuing of laws, statutes, or regulations. prohibited the sale of liquor interdict implies prohibition by civil or ecclesiastical authority usually for a given time or a declared purpose. practices interdicted by the church inhibit implies restraints or restrictions that amount to prohibitions, not only by authority but also by the exigencies of the time or situation. conditions inhibiting the growth of free trade

Examples of inhibit in a Sentence

You shouldn't allow fear of failure to inhibit you. He was inhibited by modesty. Fear can inhibit people from expressing their opinions. drugs that are used to inhibit infection Strict laws are inhibiting economic growth.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The lodging rebound is a welcome development for New York hotel owners, who have suffered through a construction boom—the biggest in a generation—that flooded the market with new properties and inhibited hoteliers’ ability to raise room rates. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "New York Hotel Market Roars Back After Drowning in Too Much Supply," 25 Sep. 2018 Up to now, the White House has been unclear about what the president wants in an immigration plan, which members of both parties say has inhibited negotiations. Bill Lambrecht, San Antonio Express-News, "Trump offers to protect ‘Dreamers’ if Congress provides $25 billion for border wall," 25 Jan. 2018 The practice inhibits knowledge about gender, sexuality, health, and many other important topics to those behind bars. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "How the State, Prisons, and Guards Keep Books from Incarcerated People," 12 Dec. 2018 Earlier this month, Jacobson told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that the president's treatment of Mexico had inhibited her ability to work with the country's government. NBC News, "U.S. ambassador to Estonia to resign amid frustration with the Trump administration," 30 June 2018 According to Cooke, poor light has been shown to inhibit neurotransmitters in the brains of newborns. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "6 Nursery-Decorating Mistakes To Avoid For Your Baby’s Health," 19 Dec. 2018 This air cleaner includes a true HEPA filter, UV-C light to kill germs, and an antimicrobial agent that is added to the filter to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on the filter itself. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Air Purifier for a Breath of Fresh Air," 16 Oct. 2018 Underlying both disasters is the issue of climate change, which Trump’s administration continues to inhibit the American government from addressing. Bridget Read, Vogue, "For Trump, Hurricane Florence Will Be a Test He’s Already Failed," 12 Sep. 2018 The guard develops a mysterious shoulder injury that inhibited his play and keep him from playing for most of the 2017-18 season. Philly.com, "How did Bryan Colangelo and the Sixers get here? A timeline from the Process to the Twitter mess," 30 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inhibit

Middle English, from Latin inhibitus, past participle of inhibēre, from in- in- entry 2 + habēre to have — more at habit entry 1

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Statistics for inhibit

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inhibit

The first known use of inhibit was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for inhibit

inhibit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of inhibit

: to keep (someone) from doing what he or she wants to do
: to prevent or slow down the activity or occurrence of (something)

inhibit

verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhi-bət \
inhibited; inhibiting

Kids Definition of inhibit

: to prevent or hold back from doing something Shyness inhibited her in making new friends.

inhibit

transitive verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhib-ət \

Medical Definition of inhibit

1a : to restrain from free or spontaneous activity especially through the operation of inner psychological or external social constraints an inhibited person
b : to check or restrain the force or vitality of inhibit aggressive tendencies
2a : to reduce or suppress the activity of a presynaptic neuron can not only excite a postsynaptic neuron but can also inhibit it— H. W. Kendler
b : to retard or prevent the formation of
c : to retard, interfere with, or prevent (a process or reaction) inhibit ovulation

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More from Merriam-Webster on inhibit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inhibit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inhibit

Spanish Central: Translation of inhibit

Nglish: Translation of inhibit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inhibit for Arabic Speakers

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