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
The Journal made clear that the overpriced men’s sneakers are meant to be ridiculous in the same way that Ed Sheeran’s music is designed to be inane and trips to the DMV are meant to be infuriating.
Otherwise the Perfect Society is perfectly inhuman and perfectly inane.
In the same way, my chief residents have answered even my most inane questions without condescension or frustration.
No wonder supporters of Trump’s inane Iran speech are those bastions of democracy in the Persian Gulf.
Among vast amounts of at-risk funding trapped in Pennsylvania’s inane budget impasse is money for in-state students at Temple, Pitt, Lincoln, and Penn State.
Remember how devoted certain kids used to be to Barney, the inane purple dinosaur with his own TV show?
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?
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.
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
INANE Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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