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See more synonyms for inane on Thesaurus.com
  1. lacking sense, significance, or ideas; silly: inane questions.
  2. empty; void.
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  1. something that is empty or void, especially the void of infinite space.
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Origin of inane

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


See more synonyms for inane on Thesaurus.com
1. pointless. See foolish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inanely

Historical Examples

  • Inanely I would pound my head as though to put punch into it.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • Eddie mumbled, inanely, "You didn't mind it this mornin', buggy-ridin'."

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • If it was from any other family he tuck it so inanely, I wouldn't care so much; but from them!

    The Dead Boxer

    William Carleton

  • “My widow, if you are going to be so darned particular about it,” he shouted, inanely.


    George Barr McCutcheon

  • He thought at that moment, inanely, he should play more handball.

British Dictionary definitions for inanely


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

Word Origin

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 inanely



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper