Dictionary > Inhibit


Inhibit comes from the Latin inhibitus, meaning “to hold in”, “to restrain”, or “to keep”. In biology, there are various molecules whose function is to inhibit. In general, “to inhibit” means to “hold in or back”. In biology, an inhibiting molecule controls, prevents, restrains, arrests, or regulates, as in “to inhibit an action”. Such molecule is referred to as an inhibitor. An example of a biological inhibitor is an enzyme inhibitor, i.e. a substance that binds to an enzyme, preventing the latter to exert its catalytic activity in a chemical or biological reaction. In psychology, to inhibit means to suppress or restrain a behavior, an impulse, or a desire consciously or unconsciously. Synonym: constrain, forbid, restrain, prevent, repress, suppress.

See also

  • Enzyme inhibitor

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