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inactive

[in-ak-tiv]
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adjective
  1. not active: an inactive volcano.
  2. sedentary or passive: an inactive life.
  3. sluggish; indolent.
  4. Military. not on active duty.
  5. Chemistry.
    1. inert; unreactive.
    2. noting a compound that has no effect on polarized light.
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Origin of inactive

First recorded in 1715–25; in-3 + active
Related formsin·ac·tive·ly, adverbin·ac·tiv·i·ty, in·ac·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms

See more synonyms for inactive on Thesaurus.com
1. unmoving, immobile, inoperative. 1, 2. Inactive, dormant, inert, sluggish, torpid suggest lack of activity. Inactive indicates absence of action, indisposition to activity, or cessation of activity: an inactive compound, life, file of papers. Dormant suggests the quiescence or inactivity of that which sleeps but may be roused to action: a dormant volcano. Inert suggests the condition of dead matter, with no inherent power of motion or action; it may also mean unable to move, or heavy and hard to move: an inert mass; inert from hunger. Sluggish expresses slowness of natural activity or of that which does not move readily or vigorously: a sluggish stream, brain. Torpid suggests a state of suspended physical powers, a condition particularly of animals that hibernate: Snakes are torpid in cold weather. 3. lazy, idle, slothful.

Antonyms

1–3. lively.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inactivity

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then, after a few moments, inactivity would bring him panic.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • The days that followed were days of weary waiting and inactivity.

  • Inversely, inactivity weakens the effect of irritations which correspond to it.

  • For in us inactivity is the child of cowardice, and carelessness of inactivity and indolence.

    Laws

    Plato

  • The marvel of it was how he had developed this quality of defense in inactivity.


British Dictionary definitions for inactivity

inactive

adjective
  1. idle or inert; not active
  2. sluggish, passive, or indolent
  3. military of or relating to persons or equipment not in active service
  4. chem (of a substance) having little or no reactivity
  5. (of an element, isotope, etc) having little or no radioactivity
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Derived Formsinactively, adverbinactivity or inactiveness, noun
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 inactivity

n.

1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + activity. Phrase masterly inactivity attested by 1791.

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inactive

adj.

1725, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + active.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper