inane was our Word of the Day on 02/19/2010. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of inane in a Sentence
- All around us swirls the battering of gargantuan films, Styrofoam epics with megatons of special effects, gleefully inane adolescent films, horror films that really are horrible. —Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic, 15 Mar. 2004
- The surfeit of home runs is a sop to all the Philistines who require inane diversions like programmed races between electronic dots on the scoreboard to make it through a two-hit shutout. —Nicholas Dawidoff, New York Times Magazine, 4 Apr. 1999
- Though feminist leaders are mostly aligned with those sentiments, they can't separate their quest for economic equity from the inane political correctness of their extremist sisters. —Mary Matalin, Newsweek, 25 Oct. 1993
I quickly tired of their inane comments.
The film's plot is inane and full of clichés.
Recent Examples of inane from the Web
Consider this great inane internet debate of years past: Which athletes are best equipped to win a Battle Royale if limited to their own sport’s equipment with no protective padding or helmets?
Remember how devoted certain kids used to be to Barney, the inane purple dinosaur with his own TV show?
Shortly thereafter, the FBI began to attack the witnesses with perhaps the most inane disinformation ever—alleging the witnesses actually observed a private jet at 34,000 ft.
Keep inane conversations with strangers to an absolute minimum.
Not only did the Knicks never win more than 32 games in Jackson's tenure, but his inane insistence on being outspoken against stars like LeBron James and Anthony did immense damage to the way the franchise is viewed by the player community.
There are a few videos of my brother and me, inane footage of the two of us running around the yard at various ages, sometimes fighting and sometimes actually enjoying each other's company.
Finally, deregulation of inane child care regulations, such as Washington, D.C.'s new requirement that child care workers obtain college degrees, will make work economically practical.
Bumptious reporters shove microphones into faces and ask inane questions, and cameras are trained interminably on fires and auto accidents.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of inane
First Known Use: 1662See Words from the same year
Synonymsempty, meaningless, pointless, senseless
Related Wordsfrivolous, inconsequential, inconsiderable, insignificant, little, minor, negligible, slight, trifling, trivial, unimportant; absurd, asinine, balmy, brainless, crackpot, crazy, cuckoo, daffy, daft, dotty, empty-headed, fatuous, foolish, half-witted, harebrained, insane, jerky, kooky (also kookie), loony (also looney), lunatic, mad, mindless, nonsensical, nutty, preposterous, sappy, silly, simpleminded, stupid, tomfool, unintelligent, unwise, wacky (also whacky), weak-minded, witless, zany; irrational, unreasonable; aimless, haphazard, purposeless
Near Antonymseloquent, expressive, pregnant, revealing, suggestive, telling; logical, rational, reasonable, valid; consequential, eventful, important, key, major, momentous, substantial, weighty
Synonym Discussion of inane
- an insipid romance with platitudes on every page
- an exciting story given a vapid treatment
- although well-regarded in its day, the novel now seems flat
- a jejune and gassy speech
- a banal tale of unrequited love
- an inane interpretation of the play
Examples of inane in a Sentence
- And thus likewise we sometimes speak of place, distance, or bulk in the great inane beyond the confines of the world. —John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1689
Can inane Be Used As a Noun?
The adjective "inane" is now most commonly encountered as a synonym of "shallow" or "silly." But when this word first entered the English language in the early 17th century, it was used to mean "empty" or "insubstantial." It was this older sense that gave rise, in the latter half of the 17th century, to the noun "inane," which often serves as a poetic reference to the void of space ("the illimitable inane," "the limitless inane," "the incomprehensible inane"). This noun usage has not always been viewed in a favorable light. Samuel Johnson, in his Dictionary of the English Language (1755), says of "inane" that "it is used licentiously for a substantive," which in current English means that it is used as a noun without regard to the rules.
INANE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of inane for English Language Learners
: very silly or stupid
INANE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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