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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web In honoring the recollections and experiences of his grandfather, Mendes remains trapped in the narrow emotional range of filial piety that, far from sparking his imagination, inhibits it. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Beauty of Sam Mendes’s “1917” Comes at a Cost," 7 Jan. 2020 Ghenis, for example, has a spinal cord injury that inhibits him from sweating, the body’s primary way of minimizing overheating. Samantha Harrington, Scientific American, "How Extreme Weather Threatens People with Disabilities," 18 Sep. 2019 What initially struck me about Mayhew specifically is their community based approach not simply on rehoming animals, but in the preventative care that inhibits these cats and dogs from ending up in shelters in the first place. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Meghan Markle Talks About the 'Joy' of Adopting an Animal in Foreword Written for Mayhew Patronage," 17 June 2019 The idea is that any amount of fat will inhibit the whites from whipping properly, and egg yolks are mostly fat. Martha Holmberg, Twin Cities, "The secret to a light, airy, textbook souffle? Stop trying so hard.," 5 June 2019 However, the access is limited and usually not a direct educational exchange, often inhibiting, rather than cultivating, a deeper understanding of other groups. Brianna Holt, Quartzy, "Teens on TikTok have no clue they’re perpetuating racist stereotypes," 1 Nov. 2019 Conforming to European standards of beauty has mentally inhibited Black women for centuries. Shantel Holder, Essence, "Misty Copeland Talks About What It Takes To Be One Of The Most Badass Ballerinas In The World," 18 Oct. 2019 Considering the Lobos have regressed through the air under Dailey, inhibiting UNM from piling up points this Friday hinges on bottling up its speedy athletes that make a living on the ground. Eddie Herz, The Denver Post, "Three keys to a Colorado State Rams football victory over New Mexico," 10 Oct. 2019 An inmate at Carroll County Detention Center who allegedly wrote to a friend asking him to keep a witness from testifying has been charged with four counts related to inhibiting testimony, according to court documents. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Detention Center inmate charged after allegedly writing letter asking friend to ‘take care of’ witness," 6 Aug. 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.

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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

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inhibit.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inhibits. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on inhibit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inhibit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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