an·​i·​ma·​tion | \ ˌa-nə-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce animation (audio) \

Definition of animation

1 : the act of animating : the state of being animate or animated
3 : the preparation of animated cartoons

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of animation in a Sentence

The animation for the film took over two years to complete. The studio used computer animation for some of the special effects. The Web site has hundreds of animations you can download.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web This triggers a canned picking animation, slowly transitioning back into the standard play mode. Wired, "Shenmue III Defies All Expectations—in a Good Way, Mostly," 26 Nov. 2019 The excellent animation, sharp writing, and exceptional voice acting make interrogating suspects and finding the killer a pure pleasure. Susan Arendt, Ars Technica, "The hidden gems of Apple Arcade," 22 Nov. 2019 Part animation, part live action — all of it morbid — the film, produced in conjunction with the National Education Association, opens with a two-bit jingle sung over a pizzicato bass. John Hirschauer, National Review, "The Needless Trauma of Active-Shooter Drills," 24 Oct. 2019 One area Netflix is investing in is animation, which can be easier to dub into different languages such as Hindi. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Why Netflix isn’t worried about the streaming wars," 10 Oct. 2019 The scope of Red Dead Redemption 2 rivals the biggest Hollywood films: 300,000 animations, half a million lines of dialogue, 1,200 actors (700 with speaking parts), 2,200 days of motion-capture scene work, and a 2,000-page script. David Kushner, Outside Online, "Can Video Games Replace the Outdoors?," 8 Oct. 2019 The art form of animation is only less than a hundred years old and there have been so many advancements — from keyframing to timelines to stop motion and green screen motion tracking. Joe Moore, Washington Post, "Are games art? We asked three developers. Here’s how they answered.," 13 Nov. 2019 The 38-year-old filmmaker dropped out of pharmacy school with the long-shot dream of becoming an animator, and then spent years living with his parents and teaching himself the craft of animation. Tara Bitran, The Hollywood Reporter, "Oscars: A Guide to All 92 Foreign-Language Submissions," 7 Nov. 2019 Of course, Youmacon's celebration of pop culture — and particularly the colorful, Japanese style of animation known as anime — will be the big draw for attendees. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "Youmacon to host charity ball, auction in 15th annual event," 31 Oct. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of animation

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about animation

Time Traveler for animation

Time Traveler

The first known use of animation was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Statistics for animation

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Animation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for animation


How to pronounce animation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of animation

: a lively or excited quality
: a way of making a movie by using a series of drawings, computer graphics, or photographs of objects (such as puppets or models) that are slightly different from one another and that when viewed quickly one after another create the appearance of movement
: a movie or brief scene that is made this way


an·​i·​ma·​tion | \ ˌa-nə-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce animation (audio) \

Kids Definition of animation

1 : a lively or excited quality She spoke with animation about her trip.
2 : a way of making a movie by using slightly different pictures that when shown quickly in a series create the appearance of movement


an·​i·​ma·​tion | \ ˌan-ə-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce animation (audio) \

Medical Definition of animation

: the state of being animate or animated — see suspended animation

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on animation

What made you want to look up animation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


contradictory or incongruous words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!