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

My continued presence on the board will inhibit its ability to move Maryland’s higher education agenda forward. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "University System of Maryland Board Chairman Resigns," 1 Nov. 2018 So far, results have been mixed, with some studies showing inhibited virus replication and others showing basically none. Krissy Brady, SELF, "What Tea Tree Oil Can and Can’t Do for Your Skin," 4 Oct. 2018 There is no physical property of any one wire, nothing that the closest scrutiny could discover, that will reveal how a bird could be inhibited or harmed by it except in the most accidental way. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump, and the chilling power of sexual violence," 3 Oct. 2018 Type 1 diabetes inhibits the body’s ability to produce insulin, which is needed to transfer glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Pennsylvania girl with diabetes dies after blood sugar drops during sleepover, family says," 21 Sep. 2018 Corn gluten inhibits the germination of seeds and breaks down rapidly, leaving nitrogen to feed established grass. Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Rid of Crabgrass Once and for All," 25 June 2018 This is done by reducing the taxes and regulations that increase the cost of build housing, and reducing state and local regulations that inhibit the construction of new housing, throwing zoning restrictions. Amy Chance, sacbee, ""Build a lot more of it": What California can do to solve its housing problem," 18 June 2018 But what inhibits us can turn into the motors and change that. Patrick Pacheco, latimes.com, "Ari'el Stachel talks backstage about embracing his Middle Eastern heritage, and now a Tony Award," 11 June 2018 Richard Lipton, director of the Montefiore Headache Center in New York City, says triptans were developed in response to the older idea that the dilation of blood vessels is the primary cause of migraine; triptans were supposed to inhibit it. David Noonan, Scientific American, "New Nerve Drugs May Finally Prevent Migraine Headaches," 1 Dec. 2015

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

15 Nov 2018

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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Comments on inhibit

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something that serves to warn or remind

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