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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from inhibit

inhibitive \ in-​ˈhi-​bə-​tiv How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \ adjective
inhibitory \ in-​ˈhi-​bə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce inhibit (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.
Recent Examples on the Web Amazon and its tech peers are already the focus of antitrust scrutiny, with Congress, the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department exploring whether these companies inhibit competition in their current forms. Evelyn Freja, WSJ, 16 June 2021 In Moscow, commentators have been increasingly calling on Russia to strike Ukrainian roads and railroads to inhibit the weapons transfers. New York Times, 15 Apr. 2022 As cholesterol continues to accumulate, the coronary arteries narrow and start to inhibit blood flow, according to the CDC. Ashley Abramson, SELF, 13 Apr. 2022 Cool machine also has a medical-grade H13 HEPA filter, as well as interwoven silver strands that inhibit bacteria growth inside the evaporator. New York Times, 10 Mar. 2022 To remove the ivy growing in your yard, hand pull the vines and then cover with several inches of mulch to inhibit new growth. oregonlive, 30 Jan. 2022 But perhaps a more promising strategy would be to focus instead on developing materials that inhibit bacterial growth. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Jan. 2022 To date, in vitro and animal studies have documented specific postbiotic components that show antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects; inhibit the growth of cancer cells; and protect immune health. Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2021 The individual board members, who tend to be successful businessmen with a lot of confidence in their own thinking and decision making, must realize that protecting the status quo will inhibit growth for the greater good. George Bradt, Forbes, 2 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About inhibit

Time Traveler for inhibit

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near inhibit

inhibin

inhibit

inhibition

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for inhibit

Last Updated

5 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inhibit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inhibit. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for inhibit

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

More from Merriam-Webster on inhibit

Nglish: Translation of inhibit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inhibit for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!