View synonyms for animate


[ verb an-uh-meyt; adjective an-uh-mit ]

verb (used with object)

, an·i·mat·ed, an·i·mat·ing.
  1. to give life to; make alive:

    God animated the dust.

    Synonyms: vitalize, quicken, vivify

    Antonyms: kill

  2. to make lively, vivacious, or vigorous; give zest or spirit to:

    Her presence animated the party.

    Synonyms: fortify, energize

  3. to fill with courage or boldness; encourage:

    to animate weary troops.

    Synonyms: exhilarate, arouse, hearten, inspirit, inspire

  4. to move or stir to action; motivate:

    He was animated by religious zeal.

    Synonyms: prompt, kindle, urge, fire, incite, excite

  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 the characters in a video game;

    to animate a children's story;

    to animate the characters in a video game;

    an animated film.


  1. alive; possessing life:

    animate creatures.

    Antonyms: dead

  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 ( inanimate ).



  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 to

    an animated cartoon


  1. being alive or having life
  2. gay, spirited, or lively
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Other Words From

  • ani·mate·ly adverb
  • ani·mate·ness noun
  • ani·mating·ly adverb
  • inter·ani·mate verb (used with object) interanimated interanimating
  • non·ani·mate adjective
  • non·ani·mating adjective
  • non·ani·mating·ly adverb
  • semi·ani·mate adjective
  • un·ani·mating adjective
  • un·ani·mating·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of animate1

1375–1425; late Middle English animat < Latin animātus filled with breath or air, quickened, animated (past participle of animāre ). See anima, -ate 1
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Word History and Origins

Origin of animate1

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

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.
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Example Sentences

A new RSA animated short featuring his talk is a critical reminder of how powerfully our tools shape our experience—and how easily that feedback loop can go wrong.

Piracy has long been an issue in China—Disney’s 1998 animated version of Mulan also suffered in the China box office in part because of mass piracy before its official release.

From Fortune

Notably, all of these films, most of which are animated, come from after the “Eisner era” of Disney films, known as the “renaissance” that began with 1989’s The Little Mermaid under former Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

From Vox

Projects already in production include a nature docu-series and an animated series about inspiring women.

From Fortune

After physical production shut down in March, TV networks and streamers sought out shows that could be produced remotely, such as animated fare and documentary series that rely on archival footage and interviews shot over Zoom.

From Digiday

It is the economic questions—about the gap between rich and poor—that animate the party now.

Once, the humanist idea used to animate the very core of the university.

Investors clearly believe in the value of patents and the inventions they animate.

His fingers were rubbing back and forth on the photo, as if he was trying to animate his baby back to life.

I admire his vision in his domestic affairs and the deeply Jewish values that seem to animate him.

The birds, moreover, were singing merrily, and all Nature seemed animate and gay.

That which would have disheartened and disarmed other men, seemed only to animate him with all Macbeth's wild courage of despair.

A new spirit would animate the community, from which we might hope the most happy results.

But it was enough for that white-clad figure to stand revealed in the thickest of the carnage to animate the men to heroic effort.

Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hearThey breathe a soul to animate thy clay.


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More About Animate

What does animate mean?

To animate is to make lively or give spirit to. Someone can animate a dull situation by bringing some energy to it, such as with humor, music, or anything that is associated with movement or emotion.

To animate also means to give motion to, the way a cartoonist or animator does with drawings. Animated media include cartoons, 3D films, video games, and visual effects.

To animate also means to motivate or to encourage to take action, as in Coach really animated the team with her pre-game speech.

Animate can be used as an adjective to mean lively or full of energy, as in Carly had an animate spirit that people liked to be around.

Animate can also mean able to move voluntarily. It can also broadly describe any living being as separate from inanimate objects, which cannot move on their own and don’t have their own will.

When animate is used as an adjective, it is pronounced as [ anuh-mit ], rather than [ anuh-meyt ], as the verb form is.

Example: I animate characters for children’s shows using a computer program.

Where does animate come from?

The first records of the term animate come from around the 1300s. It ultimately comes from the Latin animāre, meaning “to fill with breath, to make alive.” To animate something is to make it appear as if it were alive. 

The field of animation has grown in visual quality and technique since its early days. Artists who animate no longer draw each frame individually. Animators now have complex hardware and software that allow them to manipulate characters in a three- or two-dimensional space using physics, realistic lighting effects, enhanced textures, and realistic movement. Some artists even capture the motion of real actors and then use those movements as a reference to animate characters for video games and film, as with the character of Thanos in the Avengers film series. Thanos was based on the motion of actor Josh Brolin but was almost entirely animated using computer technology.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to animate

  • animated (adjective, verb)
  • animateness (noun)
  • animatingly (adverb)
  • inanimate (adjective)

What are some synonyms for animate?

What are some words that share a root or word element with animate

What are some words that often get used in discussing animate?

How is animate used in real life?

Animate is frequently used to discuss giving motion to pictures.


Try using animate!

Is animate used correctly in the following sentence?

Nila was so animated while telling her story that she danced around the room.




animal starchanimated