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[in-uh-nish-uh n] /ˌɪn əˈnɪʃ ən/
exhaustion from lack of nourishment; starvation.
lack of vigor; lethargy.
Origin of inanition
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin inānitiōn- (stem of inānitiō). See inane, -ition Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inanition
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And men may be over-disciplined, so that their impulses die away from inanition.

  • To be starved to death is "to sink from inanition into nonentity."

  • That a state of inanition exists in Miss Fancher is not to be doubted.

    Fasting Girls William Alexander Hammond
  • Frequently the engine stopped as if from sheer fatigue or inanition.

  • Marjorie was awakened from her trance of inanition by the porter's voice.

    Excuse Me! Rupert Hughes
  • And the days pass, and she grows weak from inanition, but refuses all food.

    Red as a Rose is She Rhoda Broughton
  • The present government, my dear George, will expire from inanition.

    Endymion Benjamin Disraeli
  • I tell him he's foolish to pay any attention to it; just let it die of inanition.

    My Actor-Husband Anonymous
  • And we couldn't even leave the infernal things to die of inanition.

    Aliens William McFee
British Dictionary definitions for inanition


exhaustion resulting from lack of food
mental, social, or spiritual weakness or lassitude
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin inānītio emptiness, from Latin inānis empty; see inane
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 inanition

c.1400, from Old French inanition, from Latin inanitionem (nominative inanitio) "emptiness," noun of action from past participle stem of inanire "to empty," from inanis "empty, void, worthless, useless," of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inanition in Medicine

inanition in·a·ni·tion (ĭn'ə-nĭsh'ən)
Exhaustion, as from lack of nourishment or vitality.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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