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inert

[in-urt, ih-nurt]
adjective
  1. having no inherent power of action, motion, or resistance (opposed to active): inert matter.
  2. Chemistry. having little or no ability to react, as nitrogen that occurs uncombined in the atmosphere.
  3. Pharmacology. having no pharmacological action, as the excipient of a pill.
  4. inactive or sluggish by habit or nature.
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Origin of inert

1640–50; < Latin inert- (stem of iners) unskillful, equivalent to in- in-3 + -ert-, combining form of art- (stem of ars) skill; see art1
Related formsin·ert·ly, adverbin·ert·ness, nounnon·in·ert, adjectivenon·in·ert·ly, adverbnon·in·ert·ness, nounun·in·ert, adjectiveun·in·ert·ly, adverb

Synonyms for inert

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

Examples from the Web for inertly

Historical Examples of inertly

  • She closed her eyes; her body yielded in his arms and hung there inertly.

    The Woman Gives

    Owen Johnson

  • This mob appeared, for a time, inertly to watch the proceedings.

    Varney the Vampire

    Thomas Preskett Prest

  • The things of nature are inertly passive under the hand of God.

    The Theistic Conception of the World

    B. F. (Benjamin Franklin) Cocker

  • Some one must be making a big bonfire, answered Helen inertly, as her eyes followed the direction of Ediths finger.

  • When, however, the frail figure drooped silently and inertly against the waist strap he seemed to know even in the darkness.

    The Heart of the Desert

    Honor Willsie Morrow


British Dictionary definitions for inertly

inert

adjective
  1. having no inherent ability to move or to resist motion
  2. inactive, lazy, or sluggish
  3. having only a limited ability to react chemically; unreactive
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Derived Formsinertly, adverbinertness, noun

Word Origin for inert

C17: from Latin iners unskilled, from in- 1 + ars skill; see art 1
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 inertly

inert

adj.

1640s, from French inerte (16c.) or directly from Latin inertem (nominative iners) "unskilled, inactive, helpless, sluggish, worthless," from in- "without" + ars (genitive artis) "skill" (see art (n.)). Originally of matter; specifically of gases from 1885. Of persons or creatures, from 1774.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inertly in Medicine

inert

(ĭn-ûrt)
adj.
  1. Sluggish in action or motion; lethargic.
  2. Not readily reactive with other chemical elements; forming few or no chemical compounds.
  3. Having no pharmacologic or therapeutic action.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

inertly in Science

inert

[ĭn-ûrt]
  1. Not chemically reactive.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.