or in·hib·it·er

[ in-hib-i-ter ]
/ ɪnˈhɪb ɪ tər /
Save This Word!


a person or thing that inhibits.
Chemistry. a substance that decreases the rate of or stops completely a chemical reaction.
any impurity in a mineral that prevents luminescence.Compare activator (def. 3).
Rocketry. an inert antioxidant used with solid propellants to inhibit burning on certain surfaces.



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of inhibitor

First recorded in 1865–70; inhibit + -or2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for inhibitor

British Dictionary definitions for inhibitor

/ (ɪnˈhɪbɪtə) /


Also called: inhibiter a person or thing that inhibits
Also called: anticatalyst a substance that retards or stops a chemical reactionCompare catalyst
  1. a substance that inhibits the action of an enzyme
  2. a substance that inhibits a metabolic or physiological processa plant growth inhibitor
any impurity in a solid that prevents luminescence
an inert substance added to some rocket fuels to inhibit ignition on certain surfaces
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

Medical definitions for inhibitor



A substance that restrains or retards physiological, chemical, or enzymatic action.
A nerve whose stimulation represses activity.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.