View synonyms for inertia


[ in-ur-shuh, ih-nur- ]


  1. inertness, especially with regard to effort, motion, action, and the like; inactivity; sluggishness.

    Synonyms: laziness, inaction, torpor

  2. Physics.
    1. the property of matter by which it retains its state of rest or its velocity along a straight line so long as it is not acted upon by an external force.
    2. an analogous property of a force:

      electric inertia.

  3. Medicine/Medical. lack of activity, especially as applied to a uterus during childbirth when its contractions have decreased or stopped.


/ ɪnˈɜːʃə; -ʃɪə /


  1. the state of being inert; disinclination to move or act
  2. physics
    1. the tendency of a body to preserve its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force
    2. an analogous property of other physical quantities that resist change

      thermal inertia


/ ĭ-nûrshə /

  1. The resistance of a body to changes in its momentum. Because of inertia, a body at rest remains at rest, and a body in motion continues moving in a straight line and at a constant speed, unless a force is applied to it. Mass can be considered a measure of a body's inertia.
  2. See more at Newton's laws of motionSee also mass


  1. In physics , the tendency for objects at rest to remain at rest, and for objects in uniform motion to continue in motion in a straight line , unless acted on by an outside force . ( See Newton's laws of motion .)

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Derived Forms

  • inˈertial, adjective

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Other Words From

  • in·ertial adjective
  • noni·nertial adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of inertia1

First recorded in 1705–15; from Latin: “lack of skill, slothfulness”; inert, -ia

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Example Sentences

That’s partly a product of inertia, with many advertisers simply accustomed to speaking the language of the GRP.

From Digiday

Moving the weight away from the center of gravity gives the club a higher moment of inertia, which means it’s less likely to twist as it hits the ball and send your shot rolling in the wrong direction.

According to Yagley, the Supersport-35 has a moment of inertia measuring roughly 5,000 grams per centimeter squared, which is roughly what you might expect from a high-end driver.

Those included observations of the sample collection chamber using onboard cameras, as well as a spin maneuver scheduled for Saturday that would approximate the sample’s mass through moment-of-inertia measurements.

“It feels like inertia, and the inertia is stunning,” Feigenholtz said after the hearing.

Bureaucratic inertia is, by long tradition, the most efficient dispatcher of scandals.

The same inertia and restlessness is setting in behind the scenes as well.

Much of the surface of Mars is covered in fine sand and dust, both of which have low thermal inertia.

That measure is known as thermal inertia, and it provides information far beyond what we can get from visible light alone.

However, exposed rock and larger sand grains have higher thermal inertia, so they glow more brightly.

But for the most part even industry and endowment were powerless against the inertia of custom and the dead-weight of environment.

Owing to its inertia, no heavy bellows weight can be set into motion rapidly.

Owing to its inertia, it would thus tend continually to lag behind the particles of matter about it.

The observations are difficult, and the inertia of the instrument is liable to cause error, but much care was taken.

You have no idea how the inertia of such a character makes itself felt.


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inert gasinertia force