lacking sense, significance, or ideas; silly: inane questions.
empty; void.


something that is empty or void, especially the void of infinite space.

Origin of inane

First recorded in 1655–65, inane is from the Latin word inānis
Related formsin·ane·ly, adverb

Synonyms for inane Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inane

Contemporary Examples of inane

Historical Examples of inane

  • “Yes, quite well,” replied he, ignoring the inane effort at jest.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • Next week I shall devour them and think them, no doubt, inane.

    The Tragic Muse

    Henry James

  • Suppose each one of us were to be haunted by his own inane utterances?

    Humorous Ghost Stories

    Dorothy Scarborough

  • Most of all, he was angry with himself because of his inane sheepishness when she was about.

    The Octopus

    Frank Norris

  • Whenever a man "turns over a new leaf" he has this inane giggle to face.

    Mental Efficiency

    Arnold Bennett

British Dictionary definitions for inane



senseless, unimaginative, or empty; unintelligentinane remarks
Derived Formsinanely, adverb

Word Origin for inane

C17: from Latin inānis empty
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 inane

"silly, empty-headed," 1819, earlier "empty" (1660s), a back-formation from inanity. Related: Inanely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper