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

It was also observed, more than fifty years ago, that bacteria make molecules that can inhibit the growth of phages. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Bacteria engage in chemical warfare against viruses," 5 Dec. 2018 Board factions Relations between the various board factions were worsening, which inhibited an open discussion of the Moonves rumors, say people familiar with the board’s deliberations. Joe Flint, WSJ, "CBS’s Handling of Les Moonves Accusations Hampered by Battle for Control," 11 Sep. 2018 And the National Institutes of Health will soon embark on a major global trial of a different gel that would inhibit testosterone to halt sperm production. Danielle Friedman, Glamour, "Why Male Birth Control Should Exist, According to These Four Men," 20 Aug. 2018 One of the pathways that's inhibited is the tricarboxylic acid cycle, or Krebs cycle, which is how cells generate energy through aerobic respiration. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Sugar cures cancer! (Not really, but one sugar may help chemo)," 21 Nov. 2018 These external factors inhibit collagen production, resulting in more fine lines and wrinkles, and give rise to the appearance of sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone and texture, explains Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip. Jenn Sinrich, SELF, "4 Skin-Care Ingredients That Simultaneously Treat Acne and Signs of Aging," 31 Oct. 2018 The science behind this is sketchy at best — daily birth control pills, hormonal IUDs, and emergency contraception all work primarily by inhibiting fertilization of an egg, not by preventing implantation of a fertilized embryo. Anna North, Vox, "Kavanaugh’s description of birth control as “abortion-inducing drugs,” explained," 7 Sep. 2018 Arbutin works by directly inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase enzymes central to the production of melanin. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 By contrast, the drug distributed by the Qbrexza cloth will block sweat production by inhibiting sweat glands. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "FDA Approves Qbrexza, the First-Ever Prescription Treatment for Excessive Sweating," 2 July 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

13 Dec 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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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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