animate

adjective
an·​i·​mate | \ ˈa-nə-mət How to pronounce animate (audio) \

Definition of animate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : possessing or characterized by life : alive
2 : full of life : animated
3 : of or relating to animal life as opposed to plant life
4 : referring to a living thing an animate noun

animate

verb
an·​i·​mate | \ -ˌmāt How to pronounce animate (audio) \
animated; animating

Definition of animate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give spirit and support to : encourage
2a : to give life to
b : to give vigor and zest to
3 : to move to action a criminal animated by greed
4a : to make or design in such a way as to create apparently spontaneous lifelike movement animate a cartoon
b : to produce in the form of an animated cartoon animate a story

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Other Words from animate

Adjective

animately adverb
animateness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for animate

Verb

quicken, animate, enliven, vivify mean to make alive or lively. quicken stresses a sudden renewal of life or activity especially in something inert. the arrival of spring quickens the earth animate emphasizes the imparting of motion or vitality to what is or might be mechanical or artificial. happiness animated his conversation enliven suggests a stimulus that arouses from dullness or torpidity. enlivened her lectures with humorous anecdotes vivify implies a freshening or energizing through renewal of vitality. new blood needed to vivify the dying club

Did You Know?

The Latin word anima meaning “breath, soul” that gave us “animal” has given us other words. The English adjective animate meaning “alive” comes from the Latin verb animare, meaning “to give life to,” which in turn came from anima. A characteristic of animals is their ability to move. When a cartoon is drawn and filmed in such a way that lifelike movement is produced, it is animated. An animated film seems to have a life of its own.

Examples of animate in a Sentence

Adjective

The lecture was about ancient worship of animate and inanimate objects. an animate dance routine that will really get the blood pumping

Verb

The writer's humor animates the novel. The film's very realistic dinosaurs were animated on computers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Both distinguish between an animate direct object and an inanimate one. The Economist, "JohnsonThe painful origins of many creole languages," 1 Feb. 2018 The goal is to persuade the public to look at these landmarks with new eyes, almost viewing them as animate characters with feelings and backstories instead of just objects to walk past. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Dublin's Statues Will Now Call Your Cell Phone," 17 Oct. 2017 Several people have stories about more animate luggage. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "That Time the TSA Found a Scientist’s 3-D-Printed Mouse Penis," 23 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But there is an animating concept in this home, an echo of the theme that has powered Star’s shows: the idea of the nonnuclear family as a circle. Jesse Kornbluth, ELLE Decor, "Darren Star’s New York Loft is Not What You Would Expect from the Sex and the City Creator," 16 Apr. 2019 Sophie was filming Sasha dancing behind a bed sheet in order to capture her silhouette to later animate it when Sasha’s husband arrived home. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Watch the Exclusive Premiere of Frigga’s “Flower Flower” Video," 7 Sep. 2018 In many cases, the New Atheists are animated by 19th-century myths of various kinds: myths of human advancement, myths of what science can and cannot do, and all kinds of other myths. Sean Illing, Vox, "Why science can’t replace religion," 4 Nov. 2018 The tension between the raw and the refined has long animated this label founded by Lee Alexander McQueen, and the interior of the new store is warmed by the used of wood. Vogue, "How Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton Is Fostering Fashion Talent," 30 Jan. 2019 The dolls are realistically animated, using the faces of real actors (including Merritt Weaver and Janelle Monáe) atop stiff, plasticine bodies. Jesse Hassenger, The Verge, "Welcome to Marwen is Robert Zemeckis’ most revealing movie — and his worst," 20 Dec. 2018 Rather than decorating with art, the placement of windows creates shadow and light play that casually animate the walls. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "Embracing nature—and minimalism—in North Carolina," 26 Nov. 2018 The 2013 Disney film won the Oscar for best animated feature and went on to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Jessica Gelt, latimes.com, "'Frozen' the musical to launch its national tour in Los Angeles," 15 May 2018 The only truly safe bet among any of these categories is the race for best animated feature. Ben Zauzmer, The Hollywood Reporter, "Oscars: The Math Predicts 'A Fantastic Woman' Foreign-Language Film Win," 1 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'animate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of animate

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for animate

Adjective and Verb

Middle English, from Latin animatus, past participle of animare to give life to, from anima breath, soul; akin to Old English ōthian to breathe, Latin animus spirit, Greek anemos wind, Sanskrit aniti he breathes

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Time Traveler for animate

The first known use of animate was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for animate

animate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of animate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : having life : alive or living

animate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of animate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (someone or something) lively or excited
: to make (something, such as a drawing) appear to move by creating a series of drawings, pictures, etc., and showing them quickly one after another : to make (something) appear to move by using the process of animation

animate

adjective
an·​i·​mate | \ ˈa-nə-mət How to pronounce animate (audio) \

Kids Definition of animate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having life

animate

verb
an·​i·​mate | \ ˈa-nə-ˌmāt How to pronounce animate (audio) \
animated; animating

Kids Definition of animate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give life or energy to : make alive or lively He was surprised at the eagerness which animated the whole team …— Jack London, The Call of the Wild
2 : to make appear to move animate a cartoon

animate

adjective
an·​i·​mate | \ ˈan-ə-mət How to pronounce animate (audio) \

Medical Definition of animate

1 : possessing or characterized by life
2 : of or relating to animal life as opposed to plant life

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More from Merriam-Webster on animate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with animate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for animate

Spanish Central: Translation of animate

Nglish: Translation of animate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of animate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on animate

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