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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web So many of us have recognized that stellar representation of Black characters in animation are still too few and far between. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Here are Alabama’s 2020 Entertainers of the Year," 31 Dec. 2020 This winsome tale, in fantastically flat animation, will be an Oscar contender. Jim Kiest,, "Catch up with some of 2020’s best movies like ‘Time,’ ‘Wolfwalker’ at home," 29 Dec. 2020 Tucker also taught graphic and animation design at Longwood University in Virginia, his home state. Rachel Yang,, "Tuck Tucker, animator and storyboard director for Hey Arnold! and SpongeBob, dies at 59," 28 Dec. 2020 Doug Crane, who drew Spider-Man, She-Ra and He-Man cartoons and worked on films including Heavy Metal and Beavis and Butt-Head Do America during his six-decade career in animation, has died. Mike Barnes, Billboard, "Doug Crane, 'Heavy Metal' and 'Beavis and Butt-Head' Animator, Dies at 85," 21 Dec. 2020 The Fleischers didn’t see why animation needed to remain a diminutive form. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Mixed-Up Masters of Early Animation," 21 Dec. 2020 This time around the Miami City Ballet is staging this holiday staple as a live, multimedia production with animation, projections, video and, of course, live sequences. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "When the weather turns nice, performers take the stage outside," 16 Dec. 2020 There’s even a PacMan animation, as well as a variety of color options. Cnet,, "Top holiday gifts for $250 or less," 11 Dec. 2020 Because the documentary relies heavily on decades-old audio, Cutler employs a few devices to help illustrate the film, augmenting clips of Belushi performing with animation and home movies to help putty in the gaps. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Belushi' explores the comic's career through those who knew him best," 20 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of animation

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for animation

Time Traveler

The first known use of animation was in 1597

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Statistics for animation

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Animation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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

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Comments on animation

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