Share this entry

Share this page

inhibition

Line breaks: in|hib|ition
Pronunciation: /ɪn(h)ɪˈbɪʃ(ə)n
 
/

Definition of inhibition in English:

noun

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 [mass noun]: she showed an enthusiasm for sex and a lack of inhibition which was entirely alien to him
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.
Synonyms
shyness, reticence, self-consciousness, reserve, diffidence, bashfulness, coyness, embarrassment, unease, wariness, reluctance, discomfort, hesitance, hesitancy, apprehension, nerves, nervousness, insecurity;
lack of confidence, unassertiveness, timidity, timorousness;
repression, restraint, constraint, reservation, mental block, psychological block
informal hang-up
1.1 Psychology A 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.
1.2 [mass noun] The 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.
2 [mass noun] The action of inhibiting 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.
Synonyms
3 Law , British An order or writ of prohibition, especially against dealing with a specified piece of land or property.
Example sentences
  • As the accountant or the lawyer pointed out though, there would be stamp duty inhibitions on that.
  • Now, these provisions mean that the land is less valuable than it would be if the land were conveyed without the inhibitions?
  • Yes, but the practical effect of the inhibition on the lawyer to give a communication is to inhibit the receipt of the communication by the person to whom it is directed.

Origin

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

Definition of inhibition in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…