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inert

[in-urt, ih-nurt]
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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

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

Related Words

torpiditylethargyslouchtruancydormancyslothfulnessidlenessloafingtorporstagnationslothleisureinertiatriflinginactivitystuporshiftlessnessslownessindolencedawdling

Examples from the Web for inertness

Historical Examples

  • Yet simultaneously he derided himself for the inertness of his imagination.

    Casanova's Homecoming

    Arthur Schnitzler

  • For, the great enemy of knowledge is not error, but inertness.

  • It mattered little to her that inertness really was the reason for that peace.

    Rich Man, Poor Man

    Maximilian Foster

  • It shows that the trouble lies in the inertness of established habit.

  • The inertness of the young Sultan was not from want of will or zeal.


British Dictionary definitions for inertness

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

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 inertness

n.

1660s, from inert + -ness.

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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

inertness 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.

inertness 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.