"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[in-an-uh-mit] /ɪnˈæn ə mɪt/
not animate; lifeless.
spiritless; sluggish; dull.
Linguistics. belonging to a syntactic category or having a semantic feature that is characteristic of words denoting objects, concepts, and beings regarded as lacking perception and volition (opposed to animate).
Origin of inanimate
1555-65; < Late Latin inanimātus. See in-3, animate
Related forms
inanimately, adverb
inanimateness, inanimation
[in-an-uh-mey-shuh n] /ɪnˌæn əˈmeɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
1. inorganic, vegetable, mineral; inert, dead. 2. inactive, dormant, torpid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for inanimate
  • When you learn to program a computer, you acquire a superpower: the ability to make an inanimate object follow your command.
  • They turn structures that can be perceived as inanimate and cold into something really moving.
  • Both alike therefore cause pain in animate substances, and tear asunder and consume the parts in such as are inanimate.
  • Children are comfortable with the idea that inanimate objects can both think and have a personality.
  • It inhabits both humans and animals and can survive in water and on inanimate objects.
  • Viruses inhabit the realm between life and the inanimate, something quite foreign to our traditional world-view.
  • It has nothing to do with, and has nothing to say about, the origins of life from inanimate molecules.
  • We do not know the exact pathway life has taken to emerge from inanimate chemical reactions.
  • Several of them were actions in which the chimps gave living characteristics to an inanimate objects.
  • Viruses spring to life when they find a host to feed on, but otherwise they are as inanimate as a piece of rock.
British Dictionary definitions for inanimate


lacking the qualities or features of living beings; not animate: inanimate objects
lacking any sign of life or consciousness; appearing dead
lacking vitality; spiritless; dull
Derived Forms
inanimately, adverb
inanimateness, inanimation (ɪnˌænɪˈmeɪʃən) noun
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 inanimate

early 15c., from Late Latin inanimatus "lifeless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + animatus (see animation). The same word in 17c. also was a verb meaning "to infuse with life," from the other in- (see in- (2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inanimate in Medicine

inanimate in·an·i·mate (ĭn-ān'ə-mĭt)
Not having the qualities associated with active, living organisms; not animate.

in·an'i·mate·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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