- to restrain, hinder, arrest, or check (an action, impulse, etc.).
- to prohibit; forbid.
- Psychology. to consciously or unconsciously suppress or restrain (psychologically or sociologically unacceptable behavior).
- Chemistry. to decrease the rate of action of or stop (a chemical reaction).
Origin of inhibit
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for inhibitory
While the vagus is inhibitory to the heart it is motor to the lungs.Philosophy of Osteopathy
Andrew T. Still
Nor is the inhibitory value of attention or distraction any less ephemeral.Tics and Their Treatment
Nor must it be thought that the inhibitory faculty can act only in slowing the heart.
Sometimes the pain seems to act as an inhibitory agent on the heart.
In health this inhibitory influence is protective and sustaining.A Practical Physiology
Albert F. Blaisdell
- to restrain or hinder (an impulse, a desire, etc)
- to prohibit; forbid
- to stop, prevent, or decrease the rate of (a chemical reaction)
- to prevent the occurrence of (a particular signal) in a circuit
- to prevent the performance of (a particular operation)
Word Origin and History for inhibitory
late 15c., from Medieval Latin inhibitorius, from past participle stem of Latin inhibere (see inhibition).
early 15c., "to forbid, prohibit," back-formation from inhibition or else from Latin inhibitus, past participle of inhibere "to hold in, hold back, keep back" (see inhibition). Psychological sense (1876) is from earlier, softened meaning of "restrain, check, hinder" (1530s). Related: Inhibited; inhibiting.
- To hold back; restrain.
- To suppress or restrain a behavioral process, an impulse, or a desire consciously or unconsciously.
- To prevent or decrease the rate of a chemical reaction.
- To decrease, limit, or block the action or function of something in the body, as an enzyme or organ.