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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Longing for the past and fear of the future inhibit the experiments and innovations that drive progress, creating the marvels that the next generation will eventually feel nostalgic about. Johan Norberg, WSJ, "Why We Can’t Stop Longing for the Good Old Days," 26 Dec. 2020 Typically, anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins inhibit pro-apoptotic ones, and some semblance of balance is maintained. Scientific American, "An Ongoing Revolution in Blood Cancer," 1 Dec. 2020 The company has specialized in developing drugs that selectively inhibit immune factors to fight diseases that involve the body’s protective system. Suzi Ring, Bloomberg.com, "Astra CEO Lands Mega-Deal, Defends Vaccine in Sydney Quarantine," 14 Dec. 2020 Alexion has specialized in developing drugs that selectively inhibit immune factors to fight diseases that involve the body’s protective system. James Paton, Fortune, "AstraZeneca acquires rare-disease specialist Alexion in $39 billion deal," 13 Dec. 2020 Most formulas contain some form of preservative to inhibit microbial growth, and some have a fragrance to provide that fresh-from-the-salon smell. Julie Ricevuto, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: How to Use the 7 Types of Shampoo," 25 Nov. 2020 Synenberg and Pasch both believe the rules that council has devised do not inhibit transparency. cleveland, "Burkons objects to proposed new Beachwood council rules, citing a lack of transparency," 29 Nov. 2020 Because of those qualities, Harrell should receive easy looks at the rim and inhibit opponents from playing physical with his star teammates. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "Lakers’ Montrezl Harrell on the Clippers’ lack of interest, making life easier for LeBron James and Anthony Davis," 24 Nov. 2020 The attorney general's office and Hankison filed a joint motion to seal discovery records in the case, arguing the media attention would inhibit their ability to seat a fair jury. Kala Kachmar, The Courier-Journal, "Officer's records in Breonna Taylor shooting will be public with restrictions, judge rules," 11 Nov. 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

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inhibit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inhibit. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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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