- not active: an inactive volcano.
- sedentary or passive: an inactive life.
- sluggish; indolent.
- Military. not on active duty.
- inert; unreactive.
- noting a compound that has no effect on polarized light.
Origin of inactive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. unmoving, immobile, inoperative. 1, 2. Inactive, dormant, inert, sluggish, torpid suggest lack of activity. Inactive indicates absence of action, indisposition to activity, or cessation of activity: an inactive compound, life, file of papers. Dormant suggests the quiescence or inactivity of that which sleeps but may be roused to action: a dormant volcano. Inert suggests the condition of dead matter, with no inherent power of motion or action; it may also mean unable to move, or heavy and hard to move: an inert mass; inert from hunger. Sluggish expresses slowness of natural activity or of that which does not move readily or vigorously: a sluggish stream, brain. Torpid suggests a state of suspended physical powers, a condition particularly of animals that hibernate: Snakes are torpid in cold weather. 3. lazy, idle, slothful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for inactive
Women who were active most days were more than three times more likely to have fertility problems than inactive women.Exercise and Fertility: Are You Too Fit to Get Pregnant?
August 1, 2014
In online-dating speak, these inactive users are known as “date bait.”The New Rules of Online Dating
Lizzie Crocker, Abby Haglage
February 14, 2013
The demolition work also is predicted to be more complicated because of inactive utility lines.Los Angeles Area Girds for Carmageddon II Freeway Closure
September 28, 2012
Arulanandam says it is “overly generous” to say that gun control groups are moribund and inactive.NRA Has Democrats Running Scared in Eric Holder Contempt Vote
Eleanor Clift, Patricia Murphy
June 28, 2012
So, we can be inactive in ordinary markets in a way we cannot be for health care, where illness thrusts activity upon us.Economists Argue Over the Cost of Caring for the Uninsured
March 25, 2012
Others, who demanded revenge, found an aliment for their inactive forces.My Double Life
For the remaining part of the year 1811 both armies were inactive.The Autobiography of Sergeant William Lawrence
If the imagination intoxicates the poet, it is not inactive in other men.Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is well for us that they will now be forced to be inactive.The Cat of Bubastes
G. A. Henty
Washington lay for a while inactive while the enemy prepared for their departure.The Siege of Boston
- idle or inert; not active
- sluggish, passive, or indolent
- military of or relating to persons or equipment not in active service
- chem (of a substance) having little or no reactivity
- (of an element, isotope, etc) having little or no radioactivity
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
Word Origin and History for inactive
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper