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 | \ ˈa-nə-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 From Cinderella to working-class caricatures like Gnafron, a poor shoemaker, puppets in elaborate costumes animated by hand, string or stick keep audiences of every age rapt. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "The French Theaters Where the iPhone Is No Match for Guignol," 11 Nov. 2019 Predictably, the House floor today teemed with all the chaos of a high school cafeteria: animated by thick egos, tables separated by deep allegiances. Wired, "Depth of Field: Reality TV Drama in Congress," 31 Oct. 2019 The result is an energizing conceit: Darbyshire, who acknowledges responsibility for running the coup—and who calmly admits to having had Mossadegh’s chief of police killed—is animated by Fiennes’s flinty glamour and peerless dramatic chops. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "Ralph Fiennes Channels a Real Spook," 14 Oct. 2019 It's even animated: The tongue moves from side to side. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Remember the Giant Sandworm From 'Beetlejuice'? You Can Decorate Your Lawn With it Now," 18 Sep. 2019 There’s a new Addams Family movie, this one 3D computer-animated, set to open in theaters next month. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Gifted cast makes ‘The Addams Family’ a treat at Welk Resort Theatre," 7 Sep. 2019 In the original movies -- both the 1961 animated version and the 1996 live-action adaptation -- Cruella de Vil is a rich, spoiled old lady hell bent on stealing dalmatian puppies to create a new fur coat. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Disney reveals Emma Stone's new look as a punk rock Cruella de Vil," 24 Aug. 2019 In the original Disney animated version, Li was Mulan's superior in the army. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Mulan's Love Interest in New Live-Action Movie Will Be Played by Yoson An," 7 June 2018 The Little Mermaid Live! (ABC at 8) Scenes from the Disney animated classic will be interspersed with live staged musical performances (drawing on the Broadway adaptation) by Auli’i Cravalho, Queen Latifah and Shaggy. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, "What to watch on Tuesday night: ‘Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby’ special on Netflix," 5 Nov. 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for animate

Cite this Entry

“Animate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/animate. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for animate

animate

adjective
How to pronounce animate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of animate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : having life : alive or living

animate

verb
How to pronounce animate (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for animate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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