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 While some business regulations inhibit efficiency, many regulations that have been eliminated were meant to deter climate change, such those regarding clean water, vehicle exhaust, and oil and gas production. James Burpee, Star Tribune, "The 2020 election: Why Trump doesn't pass muster, by topic," 10 Sep. 2020 The combination would greatly inhibit companies’ ability to shift income and tax breaks between countries to avoid paying levies in the U.S. and abroad. Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg.com, "Biden Says Trump Broke Promise to Bring Jobs Back to U.S.," 9 Sep. 2020 The plastics don’t completely kill viruses such as COVID-19 on contact but instead work to inhibit the growth of viruses and germs, slowing down the life of contagions. Dallas News, "Can technology make flying feel safe again? North Texas companies scramble to remove the COVID-19 risk from planes," 8 Sep. 2020 Once a bloom is pollinated, seed-containing hips develop and hormones are released that inhibit the plant from reblooming. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Labor Day weekend pruning of roses sets the stage for autumn blooms," 5 Sep. 2020 Avoid the leaves of black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) or tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), which can inhibit growth of plants and seeds. oregonlive, "Fighting off invasive weeds in Oregon requires multiple strategies," 11 Aug. 2020 This is the ultimate goal of these incremental efforts to inhibit and eliminate gun ownership. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Of Course Kamala Harris Supports Gun Confiscation," 17 Aug. 2020 When the children in the Bucharest study were 8, the researchers set up playdates, hoping to learn how early attachment impairments might inhibit a child’s later ability to interact with peers. Melissa Fay Greene, The Atlantic, "Can an Unloved Child Learn to Love?," 18 June 2020 The games work to inhibit that response by constantly changing the activity the player is doing. The Salt Lake Tribune, "University of Utah lab is developing a video game to ease depression in older adults," 9 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for inhibit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for inhibit

Last Updated

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inhibit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inhibit. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for inhibit

inhibit

verb
How to pronounce inhibit (audio)

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.
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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Comments on inhibit

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