Synonyms & Antonyms of inhibit

1 to create difficulty for the work or activity of
  • the cold inhibited her from getting much work done that morning

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2 to keep from exceeding a desirable degree or level (as of expression)
  • laws designed to inhibit the powers of the intelligence organizations

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Antonyms for inhibit

3 to steer (a person) from an activity or course of action
  • a fundamental sense of propriety should have inhibited you from making a drunken spectacle of yourself

Synonyms for inhibit

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Antonyms for inhibit

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Frequently Asked Questions About inhibit

How does the verb inhibit differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of inhibit are forbid, interdict, and prohibit. While all these words mean "to debar one from doing something or to order that something not be done," 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

When is forbid a more appropriate choice than inhibit?

The words forbid and inhibit can be used in similar contexts, but forbid implies that the order is from one in authority and that obedience is expected.

smoking is forbidden in the building

When is it sensible to use interdict instead of inhibit?

While in some cases nearly identical to inhibit, interdict implies prohibition by civil or ecclesiastical authority usually for a given time or a declared purpose.

practices interdicted by the church

When might prohibit be a better fit than inhibit?

The synonyms prohibit and inhibit are sometimes interchangeable, but prohibit suggests the issuing of laws, statutes, or regulations.

prohibited the sale of liquor

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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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Cite this Entry

“Inhibit.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on inhibit

Dictionary: Definition of inhibit

Medical Dictionary: Definition of inhibit

Nglish: Translation of inhibit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inhibit for Arabic Speakers


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