[ in-an-uh-mit ]
/ ɪnˈæn ə mɪt /


not animate; lifeless.
spiritless; sluggish; dull.
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 (opposed to animate).

Nearby words

  1. inamorata,
  2. inamorato,
  3. inane,
  4. inanely,
  5. inanga,
  6. inanition,
  7. inanity,
  8. inapparent,
  9. inappeasable,
  10. inappellable

Origin of inanimate

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

Related formsin·an·i·mate·ly, adverbin·an·i·mate·ness, in·an·i·ma·tion [in-an-uh-mey-shuhn] /ɪnˌæn əˈmeɪ ʃən/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inanimate

British Dictionary definitions for inanimate


/ (ɪnˈænɪmɪt) /


lacking the qualities or features of living beings; not animateinanimate objects
lacking any sign of life or consciousness; appearing dead
lacking vitality; spiritless; dull
Derived Formsinanimately, adverbinanimateness or inanimation (ɪnˌænɪˈmeɪʃən), 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 inanimate



early 15c., from Late Latin inanimatus "lifeless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + animatus (see animation). The same word in 17c. also was a verb meaning "to infuse with life," from the other in- (see in- (2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for inanimate


[ ĭn-ănə-mĭt ]


Not having the qualities associated with active, living organisms; not animate.
Related formsin•ani•mate•ness n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.