Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of inbred are congenital, hereditary, inborn, and innate. While all these words mean "not acquired after birth," 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

How are the words congenital and hereditary related as synonyms of inbred?

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 could inborn be used to replace inbred?

While the synonyms inborn and inbred are close in meaning, 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

When might innate be a better fit than inbred?

The words innate and inbred are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, innate applies to qualities or characteristics that are part of one's inner essential nature.

an innate sense of fair play

Thesaurus Entries Near inbred

Cite this Entry

“Inbred.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

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