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[v. an-uh-meyt; adj. an-uh-mit] /v. ˈæn əˌmeɪt; adj. ˈæn ə mɪt/
verb (used with object), animated, animating.
to give life to; make alive:
God animated the dust.
to make lively, vivacious, or vigorous; give zest or spirit to:
Her presence animated the party.
to fill with courage or boldness; encourage:
to animate weary troops.
to move or stir to action; motivate:
He was animated by religious zeal.
to give motion to:
leaves animated by a breeze.
to prepare or produce as an animated cartoon:
to animate a children's story.
alive; possessing life:
animate creatures.
an animate expression of joy.
of or relating to animal life.
able to move voluntarily.
Linguistics. belonging to a syntactic category or having a semantic feature that is characteristic of words denoting beings regarded as having perception and volition (opposed to inanimate).
Origin of animate
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English animat < Latin animātus filled with breath or air, quickened, animated (past participle of animāre). See anima, -ate1
Related forms
animately, adverb
animateness, noun
animatingly, adverb
interanimate, verb (used with object), interanimated, interanimating.
nonanimate, adjective
nonanimating, adjective
nonanimatingly, adverb
semianimate, adjective
unanimating, adjective
unanimatingly, adverb
1. vivify, quicken, vitalize. 2. energize, fortify. Animate, invigorate, stimulate mean to enliven. To animate is to create a liveliness: Health and energy animated his movements. To invigorate means to give physical vigor, to refresh, to exhilarate: Mountain air invigorates. To stimulate is to arouse a latent liveliness on a particular occasion: Alcohol stimulates. 3. inspire, inspirit, hearten, arouse, exhilarate. 4. excite, incite, fire, urge, kindle, prompt.
1. kill. 7. dead. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for animate
  • As you can see for your self the atom fits the definition for life and is an animate object.
  • In other words, scientists have not shown how life began, how inanimate materials become animate.
  • His efforts transformed the computing industry, and the fruits of his life's work animate the products that surround us.
  • Nouns are mainly designated as alive or dead, animate or inanimate.
  • Your unerring kindness, character, strength and integrity animate and advise our lives.
  • Let's teach the debates-all sides of them-that animate our intellectual culture.
  • The motion-capture data were then used to animate a humanoid avatar that was featureless and gender-neutral.
  • And deer and raccoons and songbirds still wake every dawn to animate this timeless landscape.
  • Watch the images from our photo contest animate your screen while your computer is not in use.
  • The images then animate and provide a click through link if rolled over with a mouse.
British Dictionary definitions for animate


verb (transitive) (ˈænɪˌmeɪt)
to give life to or cause to come alive
to make lively; enliven
to encourage or inspire
to impart motion to; move to action or work
to record on film or video tape so as to give movement to: an animated cartoon
adjective (ˈænɪmɪt)
being alive or having life
gay, spirited, or lively
Word Origin
C16: from Latin animāre to fill with breath, make alive, from anima breath, spirit
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
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Word Origin and History for animate

1530s, "to fill with boldness or courage," from Latin animatus past participle of animare "give breath to," also "to endow with a particular spirit, to give courage to," from anima "life, breath" (see animus). Sense of "give life to" in English attested from 1742. Related: Animated; animating.


"alive," late 14c., from Latin animatus (see animate (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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