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.
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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
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.
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