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.
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.
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. (SeeNewton's laws of motion.)