Definition of inhibition in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌin(h)iˈbiSH(ə)n/


1A feeling that makes one self-conscious and unable to act in a relaxed and natural way: the children, at first shy, soon lost their inhibitions a powerful tranquilizer that causes lack of inhibition
More example sentences
  • And what with alcohol removing your natural inhibitions, I… did some things that I shouldn't have.
  • Once the Soviet Union collapsed, the fear and inhibitions mostly disappeared, but the psychological need to confront ‘evil’ states remained.
  • I remember being a little shy about bathing outside naked but then my inhibitions would disappear at the sheer joy of feeling that soft warm water on my hot skin.
shyness, reticence, self-consciousness, reserve, diffidence;
wariness, hesitancy, hesitation, insecurity;
repression, reservation;
psychological block
informal hang-up
1.1 Psychology A voluntary or involuntary restraint on the direct expression of an instinct.
Example sentences
  • But Freud also acknowledged that purely external factors, rather than internal inhibitions, might prevent the direct expression of such impulses.
  • She then builds up a secondary inhibition to sexual arousal in order to avoid the frustration accompanying an unsatisfying sexual experience.
  • The moral that Freud drew from this reasoning was that the inhibition of natural emotional expressions could lead to dangerous consequences.
1.2The action of inhibiting, restricting, or hindering a process.
Example sentences
  • The main characteristic of whole body withdrawal is complete inhibition of swimming.
  • It may involve simultaneous activation of some belief representations and inhibition of others.
  • There is no reason to think other large single-currency areas, such as China, pay any smaller cost in terms of overall GDP inhibition and regional disparity.
hindrance, hampering, discouragement, obstruction, impediment, suppression, repression, restriction, restraint, constraint, cramping, stifling, prevention;
curb, check, bar, barrier
1.3The slowing or prevention of a process, reaction, or function by a particular substance.
Example sentences
  • With respect to this subject, the reported DNA damage and inhibition of DNA repair functions by photooxidative reactions is an interesting aspect.
  • Similar calmodulin-mediated phosphorylations lead to inhibition of glycogen synthase.
  • The alternative possibility, that the kinetic complexity of Mg-G-actin digestions arises from trypsin inhibition in these reactions, has been tested in two ways.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'forbidding, a prohibition'): from Latin inhibitio(n-), from the verb inhibere (see inhibit).

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Syllabification: in·hi·bi·tion

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