inhibit

verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhi-bət How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \
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 How to pronounce inhibitive (audio) \ adjective
inhibitory \ in-​ˈhi-​bə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce inhibitory (audio) \ 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

Among its functions, somatostatin inhibits production of insulin and growth hormone, and slows digestion. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How old are your organs? Salk, UCSD mouse study finds human clues," 6 June 2019 Diabetes inhibits the body's ability to produce or manage insulin appropriately, causing glucose to build up. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "Hacking diabetes: People break into insulin pumps as an alternative to costly innovations," 5 June 2019 This is why difficulty getting physiologically aroused can inhibit psychological desire and vice versa. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "10 Questions You’ve Always Wondered About Your Libido," 15 May 2019 Enlightenment philosophers recognized that the crown, guild, church and village sometimes acted as rent-seekers stripping away the rewards for work, thrift and innovation, and in the process inhibiting productive effort and progress. Phil Gramm And Michael Solon, WSJ, "Enemies of the Economic Enlightenment," 15 Apr. 2019 If growth falls short of its optimistic forecasts, those deficit figures could soar even higher and inhibit the economy’s ability to accelerate. Martin Crutsinger, The Seattle Times, "Survey: Business economists see slowdown in growth this year," 25 Mar. 2019 Toxicologists say that the first days after a poisoning are a crucial threshold for survival, as the body struggles to resynthesize an enzyme, acetylcholinesterase, which is inhibited by nerve agents. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "A Week After Novichok Exposure, 2 Britons’ Lives Hang in the Balance," 7 July 2018 There are reasons beyond these, of course (including physical and medical reasons, like being postpartum or suffering from vaginal pain, called dyspareunia), why your body might be inhibited. Gigi Engle, Marie Claire, "Why Can't I Have an Orgasm?," 28 May 2018 The bristles of this manual brush are treated with silver, which inhibits bacterial growth. Joanne Chen, Redbook, "Teeth: An Owner's Manual," 24 July 2017

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

14 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \
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 How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \

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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