Synonym Chooser

How is the word inborn different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of inborn are congenital, hereditary, inbred, and innate. While all these words mean "not acquired after birth," inborn suggests a quality or tendency either actually present at birth or so marked and deep-seated as to seem so.

her inborn love of nature

How do congenital and hereditary relate to one another, in the sense of inborn?

Both congenital and hereditary refer to what is acquired before or at birth, the former to things acquired during fetal development and the latter to things transmitted from one's ancestors.

a congenital heart murmur
eye color is hereditary

When can inbred be used instead of inborn?

The words inbred and inborn are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, inbred suggests something either acquired from parents by heredity or so deeply rooted and ingrained as to seem acquired in that way.

inbred political loyalties

In what contexts can innate take the place of inborn?

The synonyms innate and inborn are sometimes interchangeable, but innate applies to qualities or characteristics that are part of one's inner essential nature.

an innate sense of fair play

Thesaurus Entries Near inborn

Cite this Entry

“Inborn.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/inborn. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

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