- 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 inertness
Yet simultaneously he derided himself for the inertness of his imagination.Casanova's Homecoming
For, the great enemy of knowledge is not error, but inertness.History of Civilization in England, Vol. 3 of 3
Henry Thomas Buckle
It mattered little to her that inertness really was the reason for that peace.Rich Man, Poor Man
It shows that the trouble lies in the inertness of established habit.Human Nature and Conduct
The inertness of the young Sultan was not from want of will or zeal.The Prince of India, Volume II
- 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 inertness
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.