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[in-hab-it] /ɪnˈhæb ɪt/
verb (used with object)
to live or dwell in (a place), as people or animals:
Small animals inhabited the woods.
to exist or be situated within; dwell in:
Weird notions inhabit his mind.
verb (used without object)
Archaic. to live or dwell, as in a place.
Origin of inhabit
1325-75; < Latin inhabitāre, equivalent to in- in-2 + habitāre to dwell (see habit2); replacing Middle English enhabiten < Middle French enhabiter < Latin as above
Related forms
inhabitable, adjective
inhabitability, noun
inhabitation, noun
noninhabitability, noun
noninhabitable, adjective
preinhabit, verb (used with object)
preinhabitation, noun
reinhabit, verb (used with object)
uninhabitability, noun
uninhabitable, adjective
Can be confused
habitable, inhabitable, uninhabitable.
1, 2. reside, occupy, tenant, populate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for uninhabitable
Historical Examples
  • The library is uninhabitable for several days before and after, as it is there that we have the trees and presents.

    Elizabeth and her German Garden "Elizabeth", AKA Marie Annette Beauchamp
  • The city was in ruins, two-thirds of its houses were uninhabitable.

  • They come, singly and in batches, and soon make Olevano uninhabitable to men of the Potter and Browne type.

    Alone Norman Douglas
  • The continents of the world have become vast, uninhabitable deserts.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • The town was filled with refugees from Ypres, which was in flames and uninhabitable.

  • My father's hotel in the Champs Elysées is uninhabitable at the moment.

    Dross Henry Seton Merriman
  • And if we had never seen either bird or fish, should we not believe that the air and water were uninhabitable?

    Astronomy David Todd
  • Had there been no tide, for sanitary reasons the city would have been uninhabitable.

    Venice Dorothy Menpes
  • Uninhabited, uninhabitable, the planet was unsuitable for colonization.

    Starman's Quest Robert Silverberg
  • South of it was uninhabitable on account of the heat, and north of it all was frozen.

British Dictionary definitions for uninhabitable


not capable of being lived in


verb -its, -iting, -ited
(transitive) to live or dwell in; occupy
(intransitive) (archaic) to abide or dwell
Derived Forms
inhabitable, adjective
inhabitability, noun
inhabitation, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin inhabitāre, from habitāre to dwell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for uninhabitable

mid-15c., from un- (1) "not" + inhabitable.



late 14c., from Old French enhabiter "dwell in" (12c.), from Latin inhabitare "to dwell in," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + habitare "to dwell," frequentative of habere "hold, have" (see habit). Related: Inhabited; inhabiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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