in·​her·​ent | \ in-ˈher-ənt How to pronounce inherent (audio) also -ˈhir- How to pronounce inherent (audio) \

Essential Meaning of inherent

formal : belonging to the basic nature of someone or something He has an inherent sense of fair play. She believes strongly in the inherent [=fundamental, natural] goodness of all people.

Full Definition of inherent

: involved in the constitution or essential character of something : belonging by nature or habit : intrinsic risks inherent in the venture

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Other Words from inherent

inherently adverb

Don't Get Stuck on the Meaning of Inherent

Inherent literally refers to something that is "stuck in" something else so firmly that they can't be separated. A plan may have an inherent flaw that will cause it to fail; a person may have inherent virtues that everyone admires. Since the flaw and the virtues can't be removed, the plan may simply have to be thrown out and the person will remain virtuous forever.

Examples of inherent in a Sentence

It is one more proof that our world has lost the kind of exquisite sensibility displayed by John Milton when he came up with his definition of poetry. He first wrote "simple, sensual, and passionate," but he was bothered by the grossness inherent in "sensual," and so he invented the word "sensuous." — Florence King, National Review, 24 Sept. 2007 There were those who trusted the innate goodness of humanity, and those who believed in its inherent crookedness. — Terry Eagleton, Harper's, March 2005 The problem … is inherent and perennial in any democracy, but it has been more severe in ours during the past quarter-century because of the near universal denigration of government, politics and politicians. — Michael Kinsley, Time, 29 Oct. 2001 He has an inherent sense of fair play. an inherent concept of justice
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Recent Examples on the Web Becoming more adaptive will also set them up to successfully face an uncertain future because having various options is inherent in their business approach. Alan Mcintyre, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 This tension is inherent to the boss-employee relationship, because the employer profits by squeezing out ever-more work from their subordinates for ever-diminishing payment. Elizabeth Gulino,, 4 Oct. 2021 The current, mainstay of EV battery technology, lithium-ion, has some inherent problems, according to a 2018 study by management consulting firm Berylls Strategy Advisors. Zenger News, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 For Ronning and the rest of the squad, the key to the season will be staying consistent amid a more compact schedule, as well as the usual chopping-and-changing inherent to AHL hockey rosters. Seamus Mcavoy,, 11 Oct. 2021 What felt like an unusual metaphor for how parenting taps into an inherent need to nurture suddenly swerves into Grimms’ fairy-tale territory. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 9 Oct. 2021 Fans of the dystopian series' insight on South Korea's inherent class issues will be happy to hear that Hwang recently hinted at a possibility of a return for Gi-hun and a few other key characters. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, 9 Oct. 2021 Ted’s singular characteristic, his folksy goodness, is revealed to be not an inherent quality but a deliberate defense mechanism. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 8 Oct. 2021 Setting tax policy is an inherent power of governments, and it should be left to them, not outsourced by international agreement. The Editors, National Review, 8 Oct. 2021

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

1581, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for inherent

Latin inhaerent-, inhaerens, present participle of inhaerēre — see inhere

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Time Traveler for inherent

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The first known use of inherent was in 1581

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inherent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for inherent


in·​her·​ent | \ in-ˈhir-ənt How to pronounce inherent (audio) , -ˈher- \

Kids Definition of inherent

: belonging to or being a part of the nature of a person or thing She has an inherent sense of fairness.

Other Words from inherent

inherently adverb


in·​her·​ent | \ in-ˈhir-ənt How to pronounce inherent (audio) , in-ˈher- How to pronounce inherent (audio) \

Medical Definition of inherent

: involved in the constitution or essential character of something : belonging by nature the skin's inherent elasticity— Kathleen C. Engles

Other Words from inherent

inherently adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on inherent

Nglish: Translation of inherent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inherent for Arabic Speakers


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