AskDefine | Define inhere

Dictionary Definition

inhere v : be inherent in something

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin inhaerare, from in- + haerare ‘stick’.


IPA: /ɪn'hɪə/


  1. To be inherent; to be an essential or intrinsic part of; to be fixed or permanently incorporated with something; to cleave (to); to belong, as attributes or qualities.
    • 1985: But just as the presence of the Lord himself can inhere in a bit of bread, and bread is no more than flour and water, so the Temple is, without God’s presence, no more than bricks and stone and slime and a little gold and silver. — Anthony Burgess, Kingdom of the Wicked

Extensive Definition

Inherence refers to Empedocles' idea that the qualities of matter come from the relative proportions of each of the four elements entering into a thing. The idea was further developed by Socrates and Aristotle.
That Socrates accepted (or at least did not reject) Empedocles' claim can be seen in the Timaeus. However, he applied it also to cover the presence of form in matter. The form was an active principle. Matter, on the other hand is passive, being a mere possibility that the forms bring to life.
Aristotle clearly accepted Empedocles' claim, but he rejected Socrates' idea of the forms. According to Aristotle, the accidents of a substance are incorporeal beings which are present in it. "By being 'present in a subject' I do not mean present as parts are present in a whole, but being incapable of existence apart from the said subject." (The Categories 1a 24-26)
A closely related term is participation. If an attribute inheres in a subject, then the subject is said to participate in the attribute. For example, if the attribute in Athens inheres in Socrates, then Socrates is said to participate in the attribute, in Athens.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abide in, be born so, be coextensive with, be comprised in, be constituted by, be contained in, be found, be located, be met with, be present, be present in, be situated, be there, consist in, dwell, dwell in, exist, exist in, indwell, inhabit, inhere in, lie, lie in, occur, permeate by nature, remain, repose in, reside, reside in, rest in, stand, subsist in
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1