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[in-hab-it] /ɪnˈhæb ɪt/
verb (used with object)
to live or dwell in (a place), as people or animals:
Small animals inhabited the woods.
to exist or be situated within; dwell in:
Weird notions inhabit his mind.
verb (used without object)
Archaic. to live or dwell, as in a place.
Origin of inhabit
1325-75; < Latin inhabitāre, equivalent to in- in-2 + habitāre to dwell (see habit2); replacing Middle English enhabiten < Middle French enhabiter < Latin as above
Related forms
inhabitable, adjective
inhabitability, noun
inhabitation, noun
noninhabitability, noun
noninhabitable, adjective
preinhabit, verb (used with object)
preinhabitation, noun
reinhabit, verb (used with object)
uninhabitability, noun
uninhabitable, adjective
Can be confused
habitable, inhabitable, uninhabitable.
1, 2. reside, occupy, tenant, populate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for inhabitable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No other quarter of London was inhabitable by a rising architect.

    The Roll-Call Arnold Bennett
  • Tanith was the third—the inhabitable planet of a G-class system usually was.

    Space Viking Henry Beam Piper
  • Soon the fertile lowlands ended and they passed beyond the limit of the inhabitable region.

    Kai Lung's Golden Hours Ernest Bramah
  • There is not an inhabitable valley but that they abound there.

    The Prehistoric World E. A. Allen
  • Well may we affirm that every part of the world is inhabitable.

    Under the Maples John Burroughs
  • In Europe the latter made their appearance in 1730, and then spread out to every inhabitable country.

    All about Ferrets and Rats Adolph Isaacsen
  • With airlocks to permit entrance and exit, they were inhabitable.

    Operation: Outer Space William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • The northern coast of Africa, and the inhabitable regions inland, were full of Jews of Spanish descent.

  • The distinguished lady considered that no cities were inhabitable except the capitals that have a court.

    Woman Triumphant Vicente Blasco Ibaez
British Dictionary definitions for inhabitable


verb -its, -iting, -ited
(transitive) to live or dwell in; occupy
(intransitive) (archaic) to abide or dwell
Derived Forms
inhabitable, adjective
inhabitability, noun
inhabitation, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin inhabitāre, from habitāre to dwell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inhabitable

a word used in two opposite senses: "not habitable" (late 14c., from in- (1) "not" + habitable) and "capable of being inhabited" (c.1600, from inhabit + -able).



late 14c., from Old French enhabiter "dwell in" (12c.), from Latin inhabitare "to dwell in," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + habitare "to dwell," frequentative of habere "hold, have" (see habit). Related: Inhabited; inhabiting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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