1. Depression or arrest of a function. SEE ALSO: inhibitor. 2. In psychoanalysis, the restraining of instinctual or unconscious drives or tendencies, especially if they conflict with one's conscience or with societal demands. 3. In psychology, a generic term for a variety of processes associated with the gradual attenuation, masking, and extinction of a previously conditioned response. 4. The reduction of the rate of a reaction or process. [L. inhibeo, pp. -hibitus, to keep back, fr. habeo, to have]
- allogeneic i. i. or injury to allogeneic cells that occurs when lymphocytes are mixed and cultured with other cells of different genotypes in vitro.
- central i. suppression or diminution of outgoing impulses from a reflex center.
- competitive i. blocking of the action of an enzyme by a compound that binds to the free enzyme, preventing the substrate from binding and thus preventing the enzyme from acting on that substrate. The competitive inhibitor is often a substrate analog and binds at the active site; however, this is not an absolute requirement for competitive i.. Saturating concentrations of substrate can remove the i.. Cf.:isostery. SYN: selective i..
- contact i. cessation of replication of dividing cells that come into contact, as in the center of a healing wound.
- end product i. SYN: feedback i..
- feedback i. i. of activity by an end product of the pathway of which that activity is a part; e.g., thyroliberin stimulates thyroglobulin production, and thyroglobulin decreases thyrotropin formation. SYN: end product i., retroinhibition.
- hapten i. of precipitation i. of precipitation that occurs when the antibody has combined with hapten of the same specificity as the subsequently added antigen.
- hemagglutination i. i. of nonimmune hemagglutination by antibody specific for the hemagglutinin; e.g., viral hemagglutination will not occur if antibody specific for the virus is added before addition of red blood cells. The i. is specific and is widely used for virus identification and for antibody determination.
- noncompetitive i. a type of enzyme i. in which the inhibiting compound does not compete with the natural substrate for the active site on the enzyme, but inhibits the reaction by combining with the enzyme-substrate complex or with the free enzyme.
- potassium i. arrest of the heart in the fully relaxed state as a result of potassium intoxication.
- proactive i. a type of interference or negative transfer, observed in memory experiments and other learning situations, when something learned previously interferes with present learning or recall. Cf.:retroactive i..
- product i. i. of an enzyme activity by a product of the reaction catalyzed by that enzyme.
- reciprocal i. 1. SYN: reciprocal innervation. 2. SYN: systematic desensitization.
- reflex i. a situation in which sensory stimuli decrease reflex activity.
- residual i. the i. or suppression of tinnitus by use of a sound-generating device (residual inhibitor) that masks the sounds of tinnitus and produces a residual sound-inhibiting effect when the device is turned off.
- retroactive i. the partial or complete obliteration of memory by a more recent event, particularly new learning. Cf.:proactive i..
- selective i. SYN: competitive i..
- substrate i. i. of an enzyme activity by a substrate of the reaction catalyzed by that enzyme; often, this type of i. occurs at elevated substrate concentrations in which the substrate is binding to a second, non-active site on the enzyme.
- uncompetitive i. an inhibitory effect on a metabolic function, such as an enzyme, not based on competition for the binding site of the naturally occurring substrate, but on a different effect on the molecule whose function is being inhibited.
- Wedensky i. i. of muscle response resulting from application of a series of rapidly repeated stimuli to the motor nerve where slower frequency of stimulation results in muscle response.

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in·hi·bi·tion .in-(h)ə-'bish-ən n the act or an instance of inhibiting or the state of being inhibited: as
a ) (1) a stopping or checking of a bodily action: a restraining of the function of an organ or an agent (as a digestive fluid or enzyme) <\inhibition of the heartbeat by stimulation of the vagus nerve> <\inhibition of plantar reflexes> (2) interference with or retardation or prevention of a process or activity <\inhibition of bacterial growth>
b ) (1) a desirable restraint or check upon the free or spontaneous instincts or impulses of an individual guided or directed by the social and cultural forces of the environment <the self-control so developed is called \inhibition (C. W. Russell)> (2) a neurotic restraint upon a normal or beneficial impulse or activity caused by psychological inner conflicts or by sociocultural forces of the environment <other outspoken neurotic manifestations are general \inhibitions such as inability to think, to concentrate (Muriel Ivimey)> <\inhibitions, phobias, compulsions, and other neurotic patterns (Psychological Abstracts)>

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1. (in physiology) the prevention or reduction of the functioning of an organ, muscle, etc., by the action of certain nerve impulses.
2. (in psychoanalysis) an inner command that prevents one from doing something forbidden. Some inhibitions are essential for social adjustment, but excessive inhibitions can severely restrict one's life.
3. (in psychology) a tendency not to carry out a specific action, produced each time the action is carried out.

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in·hi·bi·tion (in″hĭ-bishґən) 1. restraint or termination of a process. 2. in psychoanalytic theory, the conscious or unconscious restraining of an impulse or desire.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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