inertia

[in-ur-shuh, ih-nur-]
noun
1.
inertness, especially with regard to effort, motion, action, and the like; inactivity; sluggishness.
2.
Physics.
a.
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.
b.
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.

Origin:
1705–15; < Latin: lack of skill, slothfulness. See inert, -ia

inertial, adjective
noninertial, adjective


1. torpor, inaction, laziness.
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World English Dictionary
inertia (ɪnˈɜːʃə, -ʃɪə)
 
n
1.  the state of being inert; disinclination to move or act
2.  physics
 a.  the tendency of a body to preserve its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force
 b.  an analogous property of other physical quantities that resist change: thermal inertia
 
in'ertial
 
adj

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

inertia
1713, used as a term in physics 17c. by Ger. astronomer and physician Johann Kepler (1571-1630), from L. inertia "unskillfulness, idleness," from iners (gen. inertis) "unskilled, inactive," see inert. Used in Mod.L. by Newton (1687). Sense of "apathy" first recorded 1822.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

inertia in·er·tia (ĭ-nûr'shə)
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.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
inertia   (ĭ-nûr'shə)  Pronunciation Key 
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Inadequate resources, poor coordination, and bureaucratic inertia or a failure
  to heed warnings can have tragic consequences.
He had introduced the notion of inertia, and the concept of acceleration as a
  change in velocity.
Be this a difference of inertia, of bulk or of form, matters not to the
  argument-Spencer.
Some of this may be the result of simple inertia, but our hesitancy to change
  is also driven by our aversion to loss.
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