[in-i-bish-uh n, in-hi-]


Origin of inhibition

1350–1400; Middle English inhibicio(u)n < Latin inhibitiōn- (stem of inhibitiō). See inhibit, -ion
Related formsin·ter·in·hi·bi·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inhibitions

Contemporary Examples of inhibitions

Historical Examples of inhibitions

  • They stand for inhibitions which are expressed in feelings that are wholly unproductive.

  • Then all the tensions and inhibitions of civilized society disappear.

  • If he opened his eyes it would be, for a little while at least, with his inhibitions suspended.

    The Dust Flower

    Basil King

  • She is good, and she has power; but thats in part, I feel, because she has no inhibitions—no doubts.

    Adrienne Toner

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • She can more understandingly separate him from his inhibitions and his dollars.


    Lawton Mackall

British Dictionary definitions for inhibitions



the act of inhibiting or the condition of being inhibited
  1. a mental state or condition in which the varieties of expression and behaviour of an individual become restricted
  2. the weakening of a learned response usually as a result of extinction or because of the presence of a distracting stimulus
  3. (in psychoanalytical theory) the unconscious restraining of an impulseSee also repression
the process of stopping or retarding a chemical reaction
physiol the suppression of the function or action of an organ or part, as by stimulation of its nerve supply
Church of England an episcopal order suspending an incumbent
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 inhibitions



late 14c., "formal prohibition; interdiction of legal proceedings by authority;" also, the document setting forth such a prohibition, from Old French inibicion and directly from Latin inhibitionem (nominative inhibitio) "a restraining," from past participle stem of inhibere "to hold in, hold back, keep back," from in- "in, on" (see in- (2)) + habere "to hold" (see habit). Psychological sense of "involuntary check on an expression of an impulse" is from 1876.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inhibitions in Medicine


[ĭn′hə-bĭshən, ĭn′ə-]


The act of inhibiting or the state of being inhibited.
Something that restrains, blocks, or suppresses.
The conscious or unconscious restraint of a behavioral process, a desire, or an impulse.
Any of a variety of processes that are associated with the gradual attenuation, masking, and extinction of a previously conditioned response.
The condition in which or the process by which a reaction is inhibited.
The condition in which or the process by which an enzyme is inhibited.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

inhibitions in Science



The blocking or limiting of the activity of an organ, tissue, or cell of the body, caused by the action of a nerve or neuron or by the release of a substance such as a hormone or neurotransmitter. Compare excitation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

inhibitions in Culture


A personal hindrance to activity or expression. For example, fear of contracting cancer might serve as an inhibition against smoking.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.