in·​hab·​it | \ in-ˈha-bət How to pronounce inhabit (audio) \
inhabited; inhabiting; inhabits

Definition of inhabit

transitive verb

1 : to occupy as a place of settled residence or habitat : live in inhabit a small house
2 : to be present in or occupy in any manner or form the human beings who inhabit this tale— Al Newman

intransitive verb

archaic : to have residence in a place : dwell

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Other Words from inhabit

inhabitable \ in-​ˈha-​bə-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce inhabit (audio) \ adjective
inhabiter noun

Examples of inhabit in a Sentence

Several hundred species of birds inhabit the island. This part of the country is inhabited by native tribes. There is a romantic quality that inhabits all her paintings. The novel is inhabited by a cast of eccentric characters.
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Recent Examples on the Web And things take a turn when Samantha can suddenly see the spirits who inhabit the place. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Oct. 2021 Perceptions are everything to center-stage wannabes who don’t inhabit the Power Five. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 28 Sep. 2021 The Fair Isle sweater has long been a staple in the wardrobes of skiers, après skiers, royals, and, of course, those who inhabit the Shetland Islands on which the sweater originated. Vogue, 15 Sep. 2021 The destruction was particularly harmful to the unhoused people who inhabit the area that had to deal with the aftermath. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2021 But what great company these characters and the many writers who inhabit this novel make. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 Those who inhabit the country’s more affluent and educated city centers, in particular, will not so easily revert to the pre-2001 status quo. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, 20 Aug. 2021 Mountain goats inhabit mountainous areas throughout western North America, according to Animal Diversity Web. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 21 Sep. 2021 A dozen people now inhabit the other side of the invisible wall Jacobs conjured up. Randall Lane, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inhabit.' 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 inhabit

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inhabit

Middle English enhabiten, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French inhabiter, enhabiter, from Latin inhabitare, from in- + habitare to dwell, frequentative of habēre to have — more at give

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Time Traveler for inhabit

Time Traveler

The first known use of inhabit was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inhabit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for inhabit



English Language Learners Definition of inhabit

: to live in (a place) : to have a home in (a place)
: to be present in (something)


in·​hab·​it | \ in-ˈha-bət How to pronounce inhabit (audio) \
inhabited; inhabiting

Kids Definition of inhabit

: to live or dwell in


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