inhibit

When you inhibit something, you block it or hold it back. If you put plants in a dark room, you inhibit their growth. A teacher who mocks their students for giving wrong answers inhibits their willingness to speak up in class.

When you look at the word inhibit, think hinder. Though it sounds like it might be a bad thing to inhibit something else, there is no judgment built into the word. A drug that inhibits the growth of cancer cells would generally be considered a very good thing. While you may wish cancer cells to be inhibited, you probably don't wish it upon your friend's sense of humor or your country's economic growth.

Definitions of inhibit
1

v limit the range or extent of

“Contact between the young was inhibited by strict social customs”
Type of:
bound, confine, limit, restrain, restrict, throttle, trammel
place limits on (extent or access)

v limit, block, or decrease the action or function of

inhibit the action of the enzyme”
inhibit the rate of a chemical reaction”
Type of:
hinder, impede
be a hindrance or obstacle to

v put down by force or authority

Synonyms:
conquer, curb, stamp down, subdue, suppress
Types:
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blink, blink away, wink
force to go away by blinking
dampen, stifle
smother or suppress
choke back, choke down, choke off
suppress
hush, hush up, quieten, shut up, silence, still
cause to be quiet or not talk
burke
get rid of, silence, or suppress
silence
keep from expression, for example by threats or pressure
quell, quench, squelch
suppress or crush completely
muffle, repress, smother, stifle, strangle
conceal or hide
shush
silence (someone) by uttering `shush!'
choke, suffocate
suppress the development, creativity, or imagination of
calm down, lull
become quiet or less intensive
shout down
silence or overwhelm by shouting
gag, muzzle
prevent from speaking out
Type of:
check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits

v control and refrain from showing; of emotions, desires, impulses, or behavior

Synonyms:
bottle up, suppress
Types:
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hold back, keep, keep back, restrain
keep under control; keep in check
quench
electronics: suppress (sparking) when the current is cut off in an inductive circuit, or suppress (an oscillation or discharge) in a component or device
choke
check or slow down the action or effect of
hold
keep from exhaling or expelling
confine
prevent from leaving or from being removed
bottle up, suppress
control and refrain from showing; of emotions, desires, impulses, or behavior
check, contain, control, curb, hold, hold in, moderate
lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits
Type of:
hold back, keep, keep back, restrain
keep under control; keep in check

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