View synonyms for inanimate


[ in-an-uh-mit ]


  1. not animate; lifeless.

    Synonyms: dead, inert, mineral, vegetable, inorganic

  2. spiritless; sluggish; dull.

    Synonyms: torpid, dormant, inactive

  3. Linguistics. belonging to a syntactic category or having a semantic feature that is characteristic of words denoting objects, concepts, and beings regarded as lacking perception and volition ( animate ).


/ ɪnˌænɪˈmeɪʃən; ɪnˈænɪmɪt /


  1. lacking the qualities or features of living beings; not animate

    inanimate objects

  2. lacking any sign of life or consciousness; appearing dead
  3. lacking vitality; spiritless; dull

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Derived Forms

  • inˈanimately, adverb
  • inˈanimateness, noun

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Other Words From

  • in·ani·mate·ly adverb
  • in·ani·mate·ness in·an·i·ma·tion [in-an-, uh, -, mey, -sh, uh, n], noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of inanimate1

From the Late Latin word inanimātus, dating back to 1555–65. See in- 3, animate

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Example Sentences

Having written for Saturday Night Live, Torres’ signature style is deadpan humor, whether in stand-up or while inventing lifelike stories for inanimate objects.

From Ozy

I hate to personify an inanimate object, but I think we owe the sandwich a debt of gratitude.

Some biologists think of them as quasi-alive, while others refer to them as inanimate tiny particles or arrangements of matter.

That perspective considers all forms of matter, both animate and inanimate.

While inanimate matter doesn’t evolve like animate matter, inanimate matter does behave.

He sits in dark corners of the narrative, a bit inanimate, like a broken chair marring a finely furnished room.

But it is important to recall that even inanimate objects contain stories.

She has been reduced to porter, to Sherpa, to something even less–some inanimate bit of set decoration.

“Thank God for my computer,” says the star, who often films personal “video diaries” with her inanimate friend.

Firearms, after all, are inanimate objects, incapable of inflicting harm on their own initiative.

And then the whole meaning—or the lack of meaning—of their inanimate lives was revealed to him.

As the Mother of Sorrows she will weep over His inanimate body taken down from the cross.

Imagine his agony at the sight of his mother,—pale, inanimate, and from time to time writhing under a convulsive chill.

How a human touch colors the inanimate world with the communicated warmth of its enchantment!

The homelessness of men, and even of inanimate vessels, cast away upon strange shores, came strongly in upon my mind.