Definition of inhibition in English:


See synonyms for inhibition

Translate inhibition into Spanish


  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anxieties and inhibitions tend to dissolve into a feeling of emotional warmth, wellbeing and pleasant drowsiness.’
    • ‘‘We can't control everything,’ he said referring to the lack of inhibitions and judgment drunk drivers exhibit.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, lost inhibitions don't just spell meaningful heart-to-hearts: they spell plenty of bad behaviour, too.’
    • ‘A good alternative is vacation class - martial arts, music, dance - which colours a child's life, enhancing confidence and wiping away diffidence and inhibitions.’
    • ‘Their program aims to help couples confront their inhibitions and feelings of anger, anxiety or shame through developing the behaviors and emotions needed for healthy reconnection.’
    • ‘Ecstasy reduced, not to say obliterated, social inhibitions.’
    • ‘I sense in Monica's response a surprising inhibition, a lack of confidence that a true union is possible.’
    • ‘The first of its kind, this ongoing workshop is only aimed to help kids from lower-income groups abandon their inhibitions and build their confidence.’
    • ‘Listening to the Orange Sky that night, I let go - of inhibitions, of anxieties - if only for the duration of the music.’
    • ‘With love, there should be no reservations, no inhibitions when making love to the person who undoubtedly has your heart.’
    • ‘I give myself away through my music, my true feelings, shedding all inhibitions.’
    • ‘The inhibitions disappear and the red face is a result of happy exertion rather than excruciating bashfulness.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, people have a lot of inhibitions and fears about going to a doctor.’
    • ‘It was good seeing some friends lose their inhibitions and dance like there was no tomorrow.’
    • ‘Both the sexes move so closely that inhibitions and hesitations are a thing of the past now.’
    • ‘The idea is to rise above everything, shed all the inhibitions and fears, and be part of the Games.’
    • ‘It was still not strong enough to allow him to overcome his inhibitions and his fears.’
    shyness, reticence, self-consciousness, reserve, diffidence, bashfulness, coyness, embarrassment, unease, wariness, reluctance, discomfort, hesitance, hesitancy, apprehension, nerves, nervousness, insecurity
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    1. 1.1Psychology A voluntary or involuntary restraint on the direct expression of an instinct.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘Further, it lowers inhibitions, spurring individuals who are inclined towards sexually abusive or deviant behaviors to act on their fantasies.’
      • ‘An imbalance of excitation and inhibition may underlie several neurological diseases, including autism, Tourette's syndrome and schizophrenia.’
    2. 1.2The action of inhibiting, restricting, or hindering a process.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘Even if short-term inhibition of GDP growth is on occasions necessary, growth foregone is nevertheless the very essence of social misfortune.’
      • ‘This process can lead to the addition or inhibition of cellular function.’
      • ‘The effect of the subpoena did not result in an unconstitutional inhibition of religion.’
      hindrance, hampering, holding back, discouragement, obstruction, impediment, retardation
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    3. 1.3The slowing or prevention of a process, reaction, or function by a particular substance.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘Flavonoids have diverse toxic effects including disruption of cellular respiration, inhibition of enzyme function, and interference with reproduction.’
      • ‘Gamma-tocopherol partially protects insulin-secreting cells against functional inhibition by nitric oxide.’



/ˌinəˈbiSH(ə)n/ /ˌɪnəˈbɪʃ(ə)n/ /ˌin(h)iˈbiSH(ə)n/ /ˌɪn(h)ɪˈbɪʃ(ə)n/


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