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 This time the town is not empty but crowded with animate memories. Andrew Delbanco, The New York Review of Books, "Night Terrors," 3 Nov. 2020 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 Still, the issue of the Russia investigation could animate grassroots Republicans for the foreseeable future, and Pompeo could be laying down a marker with his adulation of Barr's role in winding down the inquiry. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "'Crushed propaganda generated by Mueller': Pompeo commends Barr," 15 Dec. 2020 Many work the service jobs that animate the city: driving, cleaning, cooking, building — up at first light to line the subway platforms, hard hats and coffee cups in hand. New York Times, "The Epicenter," 3 Dec. 2020 The decision on which charges to file, or even whether charges are filed, are the decisions that animate the justice system, and prosecutors make those decisions all the time with few restraints. Greg Fitzgerald, The Christian Science Monitor, "Rethinking perspectives on American criminal justice," 16 Nov. 2020 The interview turned out to be a fitting preview of the style and concerns that animate Kunzru’s haunting and timely new novel, Red Pill. Jenny Offill, The New York Review of Books, "Seeing Too Clearly," 3 Nov. 2020 The lessons of the Enlightenment, from freedom of expression to the right to assemble en masse, are what animate daily life in modern France. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "France Endures Agonizing Autumn From Covid-19, Terrorism," 2 Nov. 2020 Different forms of social consciousness animate some of the industry’s most exciting young labels. Quartz Staff, Quartz, "What cool means today," 22 Nov. 2020 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lo animate conservative evangelical and Catholic voters, though the high court fight has been overshadowed by concerns over the coronavirus with cases surging. Star Tribune, "Biden vows his unity can save country; Trump hits Midwest," 27 Oct. 2020 This means trusting in their ability to animate art objects for themselves. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "Cape crusader," 21 Oct. 2020

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/animate. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on animate

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