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inertia

[in-ur-shuh, ih-nur-] /ɪnˈɜr ʃə, ɪˈnɜr-/
noun
1.
inertness, especially with regard to effort, motion, action, and the like; inactivity; sluggishness.
2.
Physics.
  1. 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.
  2. 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
1705-1715
1705-15; < Latin: lack of skill, slothfulness. See inert, -ia
Related forms
inertial, adjective
noninertial, adjective
Synonyms
1. torpor, inaction, laziness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for inertial
  • The lighting mechanism has an inertial switch, which has a spring that is fixed at one end.
  • However, they are not in an inertial frame of reference.
  • It includes the mission computer and the inertial measurement unit.
  • Neither is this the first inertial confinement experiment.
  • In the end, insularity becomes inertial, feeding on itself to create ever more isolation.
  • So implicitly we're imagining some global inertial frame with respect to which such acceleration can be measured.
  • True gravitational and inertial equivalency and balancing fundamentally includes instantaneity.
  • It postulates that the speed of light is the same within every inertial frame of reference.
  • Geostrophic currents are zero-frequency inertial waves in the oceans.
  • And the alien ships have inertial dampeners that let the ships zip around without harming the occupants.
British Dictionary definitions for inertial

inertia

/ɪnˈɜːʃə; -ʃɪə/
noun
1.
the state of being inert; disinclination to move or act
2.
(physics)
  1. the tendency of a body to preserve its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force
  2. an analogous property of other physical quantities that resist change: thermal inertia
Derived Forms
inertial, adjective
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 inertial
adj.

1737, from inertia + -al (1).

inertia

n.

1713, introduced as a term in physics 17c. by German astronomer and physician Johann Kepler (1571-1630), from Latin inertia "unskillfulness, idleness," from iners (genitive inertis) "unskilled, inactive;" see inert. Used in Modern Latin by Newton (1687). Sense of "apathy" first recorded 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inertial in Medicine

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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inertial in Science
inertia
  (ĭ-nûr'shə)   
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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inertial in Culture
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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