[ in-hib-it ]
See synonyms for: inhibitinhibitedinhibitinginhibits on

verb (used with object)
  1. to restrain, hinder, arrest, or check (an action, impulse, etc.).

  2. to prohibit; forbid.

  1. Psychology. to consciously or unconsciously suppress or restrain (psychologically or sociologically unacceptable behavior).

  2. Chemistry. to decrease the rate of action of or stop (a chemical reaction).

Origin of inhibit

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English inhibiten, from Latin inhibitus, past participle of inhibēre “to restrain,” equivalent to in- in-2 + -hibēre, combining form of habēre “to have, hold”

synonym study For inhibit

2. See forbid.

Other words for inhibit

Other words from inhibit

  • in·hib·it·a·ble, adjective
  • in·hib·i·to·ry [in-hib-i-tawr-ee], /ɪnˈhɪb ɪˌtɔr i/, in·hib·i·tive, adjective
  • o·ver·in·hib·it, verb (used with object)
  • un·in·hib·it·ing, adjective

Words Nearby inhibit Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use inhibit in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for inhibit


/ (ɪnˈhɪbɪt) /

verb-its, -iting or -ited (tr)
  1. to restrain or hinder (an impulse, a desire, etc)

  2. to prohibit; forbid

  1. to stop, prevent, or decrease the rate of (a chemical reaction)

  2. electronics

    • to prevent the occurrence of (a particular signal) in a circuit

    • to prevent the performance of (a particular operation)

Origin of inhibit

C15: from Latin inhibēre to restrain, from in- ² + habēre to have

Derived forms of inhibit

  • inhibitable, adjective
  • inhibitive or inhibitory, adjective

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