an·​i·​mat·​ed ˈa-nə-ˌmā-təd How to pronounce animated (audio)
: endowed with life or the qualities of life : alive
animated creatures
: full of movement and activity
an animated crowd
: full of vigor and spirit : lively
an animated discussion
: having the appearance of something alive
an unusually animated piece of sculpture
: made in the form of an animated cartoon
an animated film
animatedly adverb

Did you know?

Animated cartoon characters have been "given life" by film techniques, though the animation of drawings actually goes back to handheld toys in the 1830s. A child watching the cartoon may also be animated—squealing, laughing, and jumping around—as can a crowd of hockey fans or a rock-concert audience. And the best discussions and arguments are often highly animated.

Choose the Right Synonym for animated

lively, animated, vivacious, sprightly, gay mean keenly alive and spirited.

lively suggests briskness, alertness, or energy.

a lively debate on the issues

animated applies to what is spirited and active.

an animated discussion of current events

vivacious suggests an activeness of gesture and wit, often playful or alluring.

a vivacious party host

sprightly suggests lightness and spirited vigor of manner or wit.

a tuneful, sprightly musical

gay stresses complete freedom from care and overflowing spirits.

the gay spirit of Paris in the 1920s

Examples of animated in a Sentence

She gave an animated description of the project. After dinner, the discussion got more animated. Many movies for kids are animated rather than live-action.
Recent Examples on the Web Pile the whole gang into the car and drive through the more than 70 stunning animated and stationary Christmas light displays set up along the road that follows the Chesapeake Bay. Travel + Leisure Editors, Travel + Leisure, 8 Sep. 2023 This adaptation stars Halle Bailey as the undersea princess — a casting choice that largely pleased critics but upset overly protective fans of the 1989 animated classic and, well, anti-Black audiences. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2023 The movie will get a U.S. theatrical release on Dec. 8. After playing in Japan, the film is now set to open the Toronto International Film Festival — the first animated or Japanese film to do so. Jaden Thompson, Variety, 6 Sep. 2023 Across the Spider-Verse comes five years after Into the Spider-Verse, which was the debut of Sony’s animated multiverse with Miles Morales. Tim Chan, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Sep. 2023 And then honestly, seeing Fletch take a runway and his team turn it into animated attire. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Aug. 2023 Behind them, a yellow and black animated highway appears on the screens. Jeff Weiss, Spin, 21 Aug. 2023 One of his favorite memories with Cloud was a moment caught on video of the actor cheering, jumping up, and filming from his phone as a train passes by Cloud’s film set, panning to the rest of the crew, who look slightly amused if not flat-out confused why Cloud was so animated about a cargo train. Cheyenne Roundtree, Rolling Stone, 10 Aug. 2023 At the same time, Sony's animated Spider-Verse movies have established a multiverse that could establish any number of future Spider-Man projects moving forward. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 25 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'animated.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see animate entry 1

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of animated was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near animated

Cite this Entry

“Animated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


an·​i·​mat·​ed ˈan-ə-ˌmāt-əd How to pronounce animated (audio)
: full of life and energy : lively
: appearing to be alive or moving
: made in the form of an animated cartoon
an animated movie
animatedly adverb

Medical Definition


an·​i·​mat·​ed -ˌmāt-əd How to pronounce animated (audio)
: endowed with life or the qualities of life
: full of movement and activity

More from Merriam-Webster on animated

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