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

verb (used with object), an·i·mat·ed, an·i·mat·ing.


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

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for animate

Contemporary Examples of animate

Historical Examples of animate

  • Waller, however, judged that it would be as well to animate their courage with a few words.

    Salt Water

    W. H. G. Kingston

  • As he went, his four generals parted off, to examine the forts on either hand, and to inspect and animate the militia.

    The Hour and the Man

    Harriet Martineau

  • It is, then, that by which the animate differs from the inanimate.

  • But as for the body, it suffers no pain when it is soulless; and even when animate it can suffer only by the soul's suffering.

    The City of God, Volume II

    Aurelius Augustine

  • The want, according to the popular saying, was not of rhinoceroses to supply skins, but of courage to animate the wearers.

    Mythical Monsters

    Charles Gould

British Dictionary definitions for animate


verb (ˈænɪˌmeɪt) (tr)

to give life to or cause to come alive
to make lively; enliven
to encourage or inspire
to impart motion to; move to action or work
to record on film or video tape so as to give movement toan animated cartoon

adjective (ˈænɪmɪt)

being alive or having life
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