- having no inherent power of action, motion, or resistance (opposed to active): inert matter.
- Chemistry. having little or no ability to react, as nitrogen that occurs uncombined in the atmosphere.
- Pharmacology. having no pharmacological action, as the excipient of a pill.
- inactive or sluggish by habit or nature.
Origin of inert
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for inertly
She closed her eyes; her body yielded in his arms and hung there inertly.The Woman Gives
This mob appeared, for a time, inertly to watch the proceedings.Varney the Vampire
Thomas Preskett Prest
The things of nature are inertly passive under the hand of God.The Theistic Conception of the World
B. F. (Benjamin Franklin) Cocker
Some one must be making a big bonfire, answered Helen inertly, as her eyes followed the direction of Ediths finger.Blue Robin, the Girl Pioneer
Rena I. Halsey
When, however, the frail figure drooped silently and inertly against the waist strap he seemed to know even in the darkness.The Heart of the Desert
Honor Willsie Morrow
- having no inherent ability to move or to resist motion
- inactive, lazy, or sluggish
- having only a limited ability to react chemically; unreactive
Word Origin and History for inertly
1640s, from French inerte (16c.) or directly from Latin inertem (nominative iners) "unskilled, inactive, helpless, sluggish, worthless," from in- "without" + ars (genitive artis) "skill" (see art (n.)). Originally of matter; specifically of gases from 1885. Of persons or creatures, from 1774.
- Sluggish in action or motion; lethargic.
- Not readily reactive with other chemical elements; forming few or no chemical compounds.
- Having no pharmacologic or therapeutic action.
- Not chemically reactive.