- Inhibit is defined as to hold back or keep something from happening.
An example of inhibit is locking a door to keep people from coming in.
- to hold back or keep from some action, feeling, etc.; check or repress
- Rare to prohibit; forbid
Origin of inhibit; from Classical Latin inhibitus, past participle of inhibere, to hold back, restrain, curb ; from in-, in, on + habere, to have, hold: see habit
transitive verbin·hib·it·ed, in·hib·it·ing, in·hib·its
- a. To hold back; restrain: barricades that inhibited the movement of the crowd; a lack of knowledge that inhibited his inclination to ask questions. See Synonyms at restrain.b. To cause (a person) to behave in a restrained or self-conscious way: He felt inhibited by the presence of so many famous people.c. Psychology To suppress or restrain (behavior, an impulse, or a desire) consciously or unconsciously.
- a. Chemistry To prevent or decrease the rate of (a reaction).b. Biology To decrease, limit, or block the action or function of (an enzyme or organ, for example).
- To prohibit (an ecclesiastic) from performing clerical duties.
Origin of inhibitMiddle English inhibiten, to forbid, from Latin inhibēre, inhibit-, to restrain, forbid : in-, in; see in–2 + habēre, to hold; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots.
- in·hib′i·tive, in·hib′i·to′ry
(third-person singular simple present inhibits, present participle inhibiting, simple past and past participle inhibited)
From Latin inhibitus, perfect passive participle of inhibeō (“I hold in, check, restrain”), from in (“in, at, on”), + habeō (“I have, hold, keep”).