Definition of inherent in English:



  • 1Existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute.

    ‘any form of mountaineering has its inherent dangers’
    • ‘Elective dictatorship is a danger inherent in our system.’
    • ‘One of the characteristics inherent in African elections is voter apathy.’
    • ‘This demonstrates the inherent uncertainty within certain areas of the criminal law.’
    • ‘The authors point out that this vulnerability is an inherent part of the existing system.’
    • ‘So one cannot say that it is inherent in the nature of the tax power that there will be discrimination.’
    • ‘There are many things in life which have inherent dangers.’
    • ‘The right to exclude non-citizens is an inherent attribute of sovereignty, but the scope of the exclusion is a matter of policy.’
    • ‘A good art critic is able to bring up for discussion the issues and implications that are inherent in a film, book, or album.’
    • ‘There are some dangers inherent in the consolidation of our intelligence structure.’
    • ‘The town had been built on the large stone shelf specifically for the inherent natural defensive properties of the surroundings.’
    • ‘The constituents of divine knowledge essentially represent the inherent divinity of man.’
    • ‘In fact, his paintings still contained many of the disturbing characteristics inherent in his wartime work.’
    • ‘As social creatures, our need for human interaction is essential and inherent.’
    • ‘Evil is inherent, an essential trait, that determines how you will act in the world.’
    • ‘You may question his characters' motivation, but never doubt their sincerity or inherent goodness.’
    • ‘I have always been conscious of the inherent dangers to our natural world from our industry.’
    • ‘We suggest that there may also be a class dimension inherent in this characterization.’
    • ‘It is true to say that the inherent risks of injury from rare and random causes arises in every surgical procedure.’
    • ‘Thirdly, the inherent weaknesses of using existing census data are readily admitted by health economists.’
    • ‘While these patterns are not inherent or permanent, they are certainly not easy to do away with.’
    intrinsic, innate, immanent, built-in, inborn, ingrained, deep-rooted
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    1. 1.1Law Vested in (someone) as a right or privilege.
      • ‘I would regard them as powers which are inherent in its jurisdiction.’
      • ‘It does not indicate that the court has an inherent power to enlarge a statutory time limit.’
      • ‘In my opinion, this is not a matter falling within my inherent jurisdiction as a superior court judge.’
      • ‘I just query whether that is so in view of the inherent power of the Court.’
      • ‘This, as it seems to me, neatly encapsulates the balance which is inherent in the Tribunal's task under the Act.’
    2. 1.2Linguistics (of an adjective) having the same meaning in both attributive and predicative uses.


Late 16th century: from Latin inhaerent- ‘sticking to’, from the verb inhaerere, from in- ‘in, towards’ + haerere ‘to stick’.