[verb an-uh-meyt; adjective an-uh-mit]
See more synonyms for animate on
verb (used with object), an·i·mat·ed, an·i·mat·ing.
  1. to give life to; make alive: God animated the dust.
  2. to make lively, vivacious, or vigorous; give zest or spirit to: Her presence animated the party.
  3. to fill with courage or boldness; encourage: to animate weary troops.
  4. to move or stir to action; motivate: He was animated by religious zeal.
  5. to give motion to: leaves animated by a breeze.
  6. to render or produce (a story, character, movie, etc.) by using animation: to animate a children's story;to animate the characters in a video game;an animated film.
  1. alive; possessing life: animate creatures.
  2. lively: an animate expression of joy.
  3. of or relating to animal life.
  4. able to move voluntarily.
  5. Linguistics. belonging to a syntactic category or having a semantic feature that is characteristic of words denoting beings regarded as having perception and volition (opposed to inanimate).

Origin of animate

1375–1425; late Middle English animat < Latin animātus filled with breath or air, quickened, animated (past participle of animāre). See anima, -ate1
Related formsan·i·mate·ly, adverban·i·mate·ness, nounan·i·mat·ing·ly, adverbin·ter·an·i·mate, verb (used with object), in·ter·an·i·mat·ed, in·ter·an·i·mat·ing.non·an·i·mate, adjectivenon·an·i·mat·ing, adjectivenon·an·i·mat·ing·ly, adverbsem·i·an·i·mate, adjectiveun·an·i·mat·ing, adjectiveun·an·i·mat·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for animate

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Synonym study

2. Animate, invigorate, stimulate mean to enliven. To animate is to create a liveliness: Health and energy animated his movements. To invigorate means to give physical vigor, to refresh, to exhilarate: Mountain air invigorates. To stimulate is to arouse a latent liveliness on a particular occasion: Caffeine will stimulate you and keep you alert.

Antonyms for animate

1. kill. 7. dead. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for animate

Contemporary Examples of animate

Historical Examples of animate

  • It was an animate statue to the excellence of good, clean living.


    W. A. Fraser

  • But willingly would I breathe a soul to animate your timidity.


    William Godwin

  • The life here, if not animate, is at least intelligent—and it is not friendly.

    The Issahar Artifacts

    Jesse Franklin Bone

  • No sound escaped her lips; no thought for herself or for others seemed to animate her.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

  • She is nevertheless in the body, and continues to animate it, but she perceives not her own action.

    The Phantom World

    Augustin Calmet

British Dictionary definitions for animate


verb (ˈænɪˌmeɪt) (tr)
  1. to give life to or cause to come alive
  2. to make lively; enliven
  3. to encourage or inspire
  4. to impart motion to; move to action or work
  5. to record on film or video tape so as to give movement toan animated cartoon
adjective (ˈænɪmɪt)
  1. being alive or having life
  2. gay, spirited, or lively

Word Origin for animate

C16: from Latin animāre to fill with breath, make alive, from anima breath, spirit
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 animate

1530s, "to fill with boldness or courage," from Latin animatus past participle of animare "give breath to," also "to endow with a particular spirit, to give courage to," from anima "life, breath" (see animus). Sense of "give life to" in English attested from 1742. Related: Animated; animating.


"alive," late 14c., from Latin animatus (see animate (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper