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See more synonyms for inhabit on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to live or dwell in (a place), as people or animals: Small animals inhabited the woods.
  2. to exist or be situated within; dwell in: Weird notions inhabit his mind.
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verb (used without object)
  1. Archaic. to live or dwell, as in a place.
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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 formsin·hab·it·a·ble, adjectivein·hab·it·a·bil·i·ty, nounin·hab·i·ta·tion, nounnon·in·hab·it·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·in·hab·it·a·ble, adjectivepre·in·hab·it, verb (used with object)pre·in·hab·i·ta·tion, nounre·in·hab·it, verb (used with object)un·in·hab·it·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·in·hab·it·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedhabitable inhabitable uninhabitable


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for inhabiting

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • These gods, as inhabiting the heaven, are placed at the head of the tablet.

  • There are two distinct tribes of Laos inhabiting this district.

    Travels in the Far East

    Ellen Mary Hayes Peck

  • A large species of duck, inhabiting the coasts of the northern seas.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • We shall now proceed to write of the Indiana inhabiting these wild regions.

    Hudson Bay

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • But the High and the Lofty One, inhabiting eternity, is on earth “as one that serveth!”

    The Mind of Jesus

    John R. Macduff

British Dictionary definitions for inhabiting


verb -its, -iting or -ited
  1. (tr) to live or dwell in; occupy
  2. (intr) archaic to abide or dwell
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Derived Formsinhabitable, adjectiveinhabitability, nouninhabitation, 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

Word Origin and History for inhabiting



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper