When you have inhibitions, you're self-conscious and maybe a little anxious. A shy child at a birthday party might have fun only after abandoning her inhibitions and joining a game of musical chairs.

An inhibition is a force that prevents something from happening—and often comes from you yourself. Shy people are often said to suffer from inhibitions. Some inhibitions are good, such as the one that prevents us from choking the life out of people we dislike. Other inhibitions, like the ones that prevent someone from ever enjoying himself, are not so great.

Definitions of inhibition

n the action of prohibiting or inhibiting or forbidding (or an instance thereof)

“a medical inhibition of alcoholic beverages”
forbiddance, prohibition
Type of:
something done (usually as opposed to something said)

n (psychology) the conscious exclusion of unacceptable thoughts or desires

Type of:
act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite

n (physiology) the process whereby nerves can retard or prevent the functioning of an organ or part

“the inhibition of the heart by the vagus nerve”
Type of:
biological process, organic process
a process occurring in living organisms

n the quality of being inhibited

taboo, tabu
an inhibition or ban resulting from social custom or emotional aversion
Type of:
control, restraint
discipline in personal and social activities

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