full of life, action, or spirit; lively; vigorous: an animated debate on the death penalty.
made or equipped to move or give the appearance of moving in an animallike fashion: animated puppets.
containing representations of animals or mechanical objects that appear to move as real ones do: an animated window display.

Origin of animated

First recorded in 1525–35; animate + -ed2
Related formsan·i·mat·ed·ly, adverbnon·an·i·mat·ed, adjectiveo·ver·an·i·mat·ed, adjectiveo·ver·an·i·mat·ed·ly, adverbsem·i·an·i·mat·ed, adjectiveun·an·i·mat·ed, adjectiveun·an·i·mat·ed·ly, adverb


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

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

to give life to; make alive: God animated the dust.
to make lively, vivacious, or vigorous; give zest or spirit to: Her presence animated the party.
to fill with courage or boldness; encourage: to animate weary troops.
to move or stir to action; motivate: He was animated by religious zeal.
to give motion to: leaves animated by a breeze.
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.


alive; possessing life: animate creatures.
lively: an animate expression of joy.
of or relating to animal life.
able to move voluntarily.
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

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 animated

Contemporary Examples of animated

Historical Examples of animated

  • The Redistribution Bill was carried, January, 1885, after animated debate.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • But Camilla's letter had, as we have seen, raised his courage and animated his heart.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • The proceedings began with some animated discussion, all tending one way.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • What is the mean temperature, Mr. Clawbonny, of animated beings?

    The Field of Ice

    Jules Verne

  • For a time our coffee made us chatty, and our conversation was animated.

British Dictionary definitions for animated



full of vivacity and spirit; lively
characterized by movement and activityan animated scene met her eye
possessing life; animate
moving or appearing to move as if alivean animated display
pertaining to cinematographic animation
Derived Formsanimatedly, adverb


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 animated

1530s, "alive," past participle adjective from animate (v.). Meaning "mentally excited" is from 1530s; "full of activity" from 1580s. The "moving pictures" sense is attested from 1895; of cartoons from 1897. Related: Animatedly.



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