To hinder, restrain, or prevent someone or something from progressing, acting, or functioning in a certain way.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



hinder, impede, restrain, restrict, curb, hamper, obstruct, check, deter, limit


encourage, promote, facilitate, stimulate, foster, facilitate, enable

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun inhibitor, inhibitions, inhibition, inhibitors
Verb inhibiting, inhibits, inhibit, inhibited
Adjective inhibitory
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The fear of failure can often inhibit individuals from taking risks and pursuing their true potential.

  • The strict dress code in the office inhibits employees from expressing their personal style.

  • The loud noises from the construction site inhibited my ability to concentrate on my work.

  • Overthinking can inhibit decision-making, causing unnecessary delays and missed opportunities.


The word “inhibit” has its origins in Latin, derived from the root word “inhibere,” which means “to hold in” or “restrain.” The prefix “in-” suggests negation or contrary action, while the suffix “-it” transforms the word into a verb. The term “inhibit” has been used in various contexts throughout history and is commonly employed in both formal and informal settings.

In its broadest sense, “inhibit” refers to the act of hindering, restraining, or preventing someone or something from progressing, acting, or functioning in a particular way. This concept can be applied in a variety of domains, including psychology, biology, chemistry, and social interactions. In psychology, for instance, inhibitions are often associated with internal psychological factors that restrain or suppress certain behaviors or thoughts.

The usage of “inhibit” can be seen in different scenarios. For instance, in a social context, one might say that shyness inhibited a person from approaching others at a party. Similarly, in chemistry, inhibitors are substances that impede or slow down certain chemical reactions. In the field of medicine, physicians may prescribe medications to inhibit the growth or activity of specific bacteria or viruses within the body.

The versatility of the word “inhibit” allows it to be applied to a wide range of situations to describe the act of restriction, repression, or hindrance. Whether it is inhibiting emotions, inhibiting the growth of microorganisms, or inhibiting certain reactions, this word finds its place in various disciplines and everyday conversations. By understanding its root, prefix, and suffix, one can decipher the meaning and usage of “inhibit” across different contexts.