inhibit

verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhi-bət How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \
inhibited; inhibiting; inhibits

Essential Meaning of inhibit

1 : to keep (someone) from doing what he or she wants to do You shouldn't allow fear of failure to inhibit you. He was inhibited by modesty. Fear can inhibit people from expressing their opinions.
2 : to prevent or slow down the activity or occurrence of (something) drugs that are used to inhibit infection Strict laws are inhibiting economic growth.

Full Definition of inhibit

transitive verb

1 : to prohibit from doing something
2a : to hold in check : restrain
b : to discourage from free or spontaneous activity especially through the operation of inner psychological or external social constraints

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Other Words from inhibit

inhibitive \ in-​ˈhi-​bə-​tiv How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \ adjective
inhibitory \ in-​ˈhi-​bə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for inhibit

forbid, prohibit, interdict, inhibit mean to debar one from doing something or to order that something not be done. forbid implies that the order is from one in authority and that obedience is expected. smoking is forbidden in the building prohibit suggests the issuing of laws, statutes, or regulations. prohibited the sale of liquor interdict implies prohibition by civil or ecclesiastical authority usually for a given time or a declared purpose. practices interdicted by the church 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

Examples of inhibit in a Sentence

You shouldn't allow fear of failure to inhibit you. He was inhibited by modesty. Fear can inhibit people from expressing their opinions. drugs that are used to inhibit infection Strict laws are inhibiting economic growth.
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Recent Examples on the Web The funds also help employees avoid expensive payday loans and overdraft fees, which would inhibit their long-term financial health even further. Ron Gaver, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 There is still uncertainty in the track of the disturbance, but some models show the storm tracking over the island, which would inhibit strengthening. Madeline Holcombe, Hannah Gard And Judson Jones, CNN, 11 Aug. 2021 The issue is not just real concern about fair and equitable treatment but also perception of unfairness, which can inhibit excellence. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 29 Apr. 2021 Gohmert and Representative Andrew Clyde, Republican of Georgia, filed a lawsuit in June alleging the metal detectors are unconstitutional and inhibit legislators’ ability to do their jobs. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Sep. 2021 The miraculous is earned through thoughtful and dedicated attention to our habits and routines, weeding out of our daily lives destructive behaviors that inhibit our capacity to inhabit our best possible lives. Jennifer Sodini, Rolling Stone, 29 Sep. 2021 The National Rifle Association has already been allowed to intervene in the suit, based on its argument that reversing the delisting decision would inhibit its members’ ability to hunt wolves. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 July 2021 But in low-turnout communities, confusion about the process can work to inhibit voter participation. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2021 Two Virginia lobbyists accused of trying to inhibit Black voters during the 2020 presidential election have been fined $5 million by federal regulators for illegally sending robocalls. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 25 Aug. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inhibit

Middle English, from Latin inhibitus, past participle of inhibēre, from in- in- entry 2 + habēre to have — more at habit entry 1

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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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Dictionary Entries Near inhibit

inhibin

inhibit

inhibition

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Statistics for inhibit

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inhibit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inhibit. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for inhibit

inhibit

verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhi-bət How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \
inhibited; inhibiting

Kids Definition of inhibit

: to prevent or hold back from doing something Shyness inhibited her in making new friends.

inhibit

transitive verb
in·​hib·​it | \ in-ˈhib-ət How to pronounce inhibit (audio) \

Medical Definition of inhibit

1a : to restrain from free or spontaneous activity especially through the operation of inner psychological or external social constraints an inhibited person
b : to check or restrain the force or vitality of inhibit aggressive tendencies
2a : to reduce or suppress the activity of a presynaptic neuron can not only excite a postsynaptic neuron but can also inhibit it— H. W. Kendler
b : to retard or prevent the formation of
c : to retard, interfere with, or prevent (a process or reaction) inhibit ovulation

More from Merriam-Webster on inhibit

Nglish: Translation of inhibit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inhibit for Arabic Speakers

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