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[in-an-uh-mit] /ɪnˈæn ə mɪt/
not animate; lifeless.
spiritless; sluggish; dull.
Linguistics. belonging to a syntactic category or having a semantic feature that is characteristic of words denoting objects, concepts, and beings regarded as lacking perception and volition (opposed to animate).
Origin of inanimate
1555-65; < Late Latin inanimātus. See in-3, animate
Related forms
inanimately, adverb
inanimateness, inanimation
[in-an-uh-mey-shuh n] /ɪnˌæn əˈmeɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
1. inorganic, vegetable, mineral; inert, dead. 2. inactive, dormant, torpid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for inanimate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nothing can be inanimate, which is sweetheart and child in one.

    The Master's Violin Myrtle Reed
  • It was hard to think of it as an inanimate thing, once having seen it in the air.

    High Adventure James Norman Hall
  • inanimate objects are no calmer than passions and cares now seem to be, all laid asleep.

  • I am caught in a tangle and I remain suspended and inanimate, in the depth of a nightmare.

    Fantazius Mallare Ben Hecht
  • We had not long to wait before the elephant fell over on its side and lay an inanimate mass.

    Adventures in Africa W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for inanimate


lacking the qualities or features of living beings; not animate: inanimate objects
lacking any sign of life or consciousness; appearing dead
lacking vitality; spiritless; dull
Derived Forms
inanimately, adverb
inanimateness, inanimation (ɪnˌænɪˈmeɪʃən) noun
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 inanimate

early 15c., from Late Latin inanimatus "lifeless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + animatus (see animation). The same word in 17c. also was a verb meaning "to infuse with life," from the other in- (see in- (2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inanimate in Medicine

inanimate in·an·i·mate (ĭn-ān'ə-mĭt)
Not having the qualities associated with active, living organisms; not animate.

in·an'i·mate·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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