Definition of inhibit in US English:

inhibit

verb

[with object]
  • 1Hinder, restrain, or prevent (an action or process)

    ‘cold inhibits plant growth’
    • ‘Unfortunately, this process is often inhibited by the idea that somehow we are not supposed to make mistakes, that mistakes are bad.’
    • ‘This is especially true of environmental issues, whose regulation may require modification of economic policies and be perceived as inhibiting development and growth.’
    • ‘It also can induce an early turn of the hand at the release point, and hinder and inhibit a clean, smooth follow-through.’
    • ‘Secondly, it inhibits processes of local technological learning essential for development.’
    • ‘My concern remains that an authority like the Restatement inhibits this evolutionary process - though I could be wrong about this.’
    • ‘This chemical is a growth regulator that inhibits the molting process in grasshoppers.’
    • ‘‘In big companies, there can be a lot of layers that inhibit the creative process,’ she says, explaining her decision to strike out on her own.’
    • ‘None of these problems is critical, but they all act to inhibit the process of renewing Australia's economic infrastructure.’
    • ‘The failures are used as a key to understanding the underlying mental processes that inhibit development.’
    • ‘Tight ‘influx’ controls were designed to check urban growth and inhibit the development of a black urban working class.’
    • ‘It is inhibiting institutional growth and diversification.’
    • ‘The federal government stepped in with safety requirements that essentially eliminated the daredevil antics, but didn't inhibit the growth of passenger airlines.’
    • ‘It does inhibit the rusting process, at least for six months or so.’
    • ‘The size and weight of early equipment, as well as technical difficulties and financial restraints, inhibited the development of radio communications between the wars.’
    • ‘For example, beet and rape support more biodiversity than maize (which is much taller, inhibiting the growth of weeds beneath).’
    • ‘It also inhibits the thickening of grass, which usually happens in September and October.’
    • ‘Public provision of social security assistance could become less important if governments remove policies inhibiting innovation or restraining growth.’
    • ‘Many developing nations, on the other, argue that intellectual property rights inhibit economic development by restricting use of existing knowledge.’
    • ‘But this failure to take responsibility inhibits the learning process.’
    • ‘But while businesses in other areas highlight finance and skills shortages as factors inhibiting growth, nearly one-third of firms in York and North Yorkshire said inadequate transport infrastructure was a major stumbling block.’
    impede, hinder, hamper, hold back, discourage, interfere with, obstruct, put a brake on, slow, slow down, retard
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Prevent or prohibit (someone) from doing something.
      ‘the earnings rule inhibited some retired people from working’
      • ‘We need to escape from our food culture, which inhibits us from creating and reaching out to a better future.’
      • ‘Break it up, and let us staff it with people who care about what they do, and do not have to bow and scrape to a Government bureaucracy that inhibits them from being as constructive as they possibly can be.’
      • ‘Later they said that the presence of the live TV cameras inhibited them from taking aggressive measures to end the ordeal.’
      • ‘Such a situation inhibits us from engaging the prayer book for what it is as a treasury of public prayer which we should be able to use intelligently and not merely by rote.’
      • ‘This reason is cited by 15 percent of respondents as a factor which either has or will inhibit them from seeing a psychotherapist.’
    2. 1.2Psychology Voluntarily or involuntarily restrain the direct expression of (an instinctive impulse).
      • ‘Normally, we all inhibit our sexual desires because we fear that we'll be rejected or that we'll overwhelm or otherwise hurt the other person.’
      • ‘Eventually dyspareunia inhibits sexual interest as well as responsiveness.’
      • ‘I found the discussion of possible physiological mechanisms that inhibit sexual desire in women particularly interesting.’
      • ‘Relationally victimized children also report more self-restraint problems than their peers, including more difficulty inhibiting anger and greater impulsivity.’
      • ‘The patient is in a panic mode and cannot be counted on to inhibit any impulses.’
    3. 1.3Physiology Biochemistry (chiefly of a drug or other substance) slow down or prevent (a process, reaction, or function) or reduce the activity of (an enzyme or other agent).
      • ‘Unlike liquid extracted from other varieties of citrus, grapefruit juice can inhibit enzyme reactions in the gut.’
      • ‘If the restriction enzyme activities were inhibited, the DNA fragment would not be cleaved and should be seen in its original size on the gel.’
      • ‘Drugs inhibiting the enzyme would prevent cell death, the goal in treating stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.’
      • ‘All nerve agents act by inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.’
      • ‘Finally inclusion of EDTA in the reaction mixture inhibited the binding reaction suggesting that the divalent cations are essential for this binding activity.’
  • 2Make (someone) self-conscious and unable to act in a relaxed and natural way.

    ‘his mother's strictures would always inhibit him’
    • ‘Grim-faced, head bowed and muttering to himself, Owen walked straight on, allowing the warm Madrid night to swallow him up along with whatever dark thoughts inhibited him.’
    • ‘Bluffly outgoing, infallibly at ease in large groups, he seemed inhibited by screen intimacy.’
    • ‘You could dress it in superhero costumes, fantasize scenarios in which it pulls off epic feats, and use it to help you escape the imaginary constraints that have been inhibiting you lately.’
    • ‘That one looked like he would like very much to be drunk, but obviously he was inhibited by the presence of his superior officer.’
    • ‘It merely inhibits him and irritates his dangerous psychological condition.’
    • ‘Methinks that my fear of not being able to get out again once I did go through inhibited me.’
    • ‘Her stammer inhibited her but she had one ace up her sleeve.’
    • ‘Seles still won, but the publicity inhibited her.’
    • ‘But if that apprehension is so severe it inhibits you, forget about it.’
    • ‘That is totally unnecessary and may inhibit you.’
    • ‘Moreover, rather than inhibiting her, marriage permits her to yield to passion.’
    • ‘I can't ice skate on my own, if someone else holds on to me with their little finger I'm fine, I'm definitely inhibited by too much thought.’
    • ‘Nor can you allow his prior experience to inhibit you, since it does not put you at a disadvantage in any way that really matters.’
    • ‘You are easily inhibited by setbacks, and you seek projects that don't require minute accountability.’
    • ‘You hope that if he was inhibited at all by Barry's presence then he will feel more free in himself and in his playing.’
  • 3(in ecclesiastical law) forbid (a member of the clergy) to exercise clerical functions.

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘forbid (a person) to do something’): from Latin inhibere ‘hinder’, from in- ‘in’ + habere ‘hold’.

Pronunciation

inhibit

/ɪnˈhɪbɪt//inˈhibit/