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inertia

[in-ur-shuh, ih-nur-]
noun
  1. inertness, especially with regard to effort, motion, action, and the like; inactivity; sluggishness.
  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.
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Origin of inertia

1705–15; < Latin: lack of skill, slothfulness. See inert, -ia
Related formsin·er·tial, adjectivenon·i·ner·tial, adjective

Synonyms for inertia

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inertial

Contemporary Examples of inertial

Historical Examples of inertial

  • They are the inertial power – rather than the counterfist of reform.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • The delicate accelerometers and inertial guidance components did all the piloting until the second stage kicked us loose.

  • "You are, of course, aware of the problems inherent in the development of inertial systems," Marks began.


British Dictionary definitions for inertial

inertia

noun
  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 changethermal inertia
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Derived Formsinertial, adjective
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 inertial

adj.

1737, from inertia + -al (1).

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inertia

n.

1713, introduced as a term in physics 17c. by German astronomer and physician Johann Kepler (1571-1630), from Latin inertia "unskillfulness, idleness," from iners (genitive inertis) "unskilled, inactive;" see inert. Used in Modern Latin by Newton (1687). Sense of "apathy" first recorded 1822.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inertial in Medicine

inertia

(ĭ-nûrshə)
n.
  1. The tendency of a body to resist acceleration; the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or of a body in motion to stay in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.
  2. Resistance or disinclination to motion, action, or change.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

inertial in Science

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. See more at Newton's laws of motion. See also mass.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

inertial in Culture

inertia

[(i-nur-shuh)]

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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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.