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

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Scientists had long known that high levels of estrogen and progesterone effectively inhibited ovulation. Robert D. Mcfadden, BostonGlobe.com, "George Rosenkranz, a developer of the birth control pill, dies at 102," 26 June 2019 Current flu vaccines induce the production of antibodies that recognize the hemagglutinin head and inhibit its ability to mediate viral entry into a cell. Debbie Ponchner, Scientific American, "New Finding Advances the Search for a Universal Flu Vaccine," 3 June 2019 Common reasons to see a physical therapist The most common reason people see a physical therapist for care is to address pain or a potential injury that’s inhibiting their ability to move and exercise normally. SELF, "How to Know When You Should See a Physical Therapist," 1 June 2019 Many economists say long-running trends could inhibit a full recovery. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Despite Tight Job Market, Labor Force’s Income Is Squeezed," 23 Feb. 2019 The researchers next measured the levels of various products of glucose metabolism and concluded that mannose inhibits key enzymes involved in essential metabolic pathways, all of which rely on glucose. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Sugar cures cancer! (Not really, but one sugar may help chemo)," 21 Nov. 2018 Avoid the leaves of black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) or tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), which can inhibit growth of plants and seeds. Don’t use grass or lawn clippings if the lawn was mowed when weeds were in seed. oregonlive.com, "Pull unsightly weeds as they pop or desired garden plants will suffer," 13 July 2019 Patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy who aren't candidates for surgery can opt to implant a vagus nerve stimulator in their chest, which sends electrical bursts through the vagus nerve and to the brain, which inhibits seizures up to 40%. Scottie Andrew And Geetha Parachuru, CNN, "What is epilepsy? Here's what you need to know about the seizure-causing spectrum of disorders," 8 July 2019 Cutting low decreases the plant’s rooting, which inhibits water and nutrient uptake. Jessie Kissinger, Popular Mechanics, "Give Your Yard Back to Nature," 1 July 2019

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.

See 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

Statistics for inhibit

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inhibit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on inhibit

What made you want to look up inhibit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!