inanimate

adjective

in·​an·​i·​mate (ˌ)i-ˈna-nə-mət How to pronounce inanimate (audio)
1
: not animate:
a
: not endowed with life or spirit
an inanimate object
b
: lacking consciousness or power of motion
an inanimate body
2
: not animated or lively : dull
inanimately adverb
inanimateness noun

Did you know?

The couch you sit on while you watch TV is an inanimate object, as is your footrest, your bag of snacks, and your remote control. Spend too much time on that couch and you risk becoming a couch potato. (A potato is an inanimate object.)

Examples of inanimate in a Sentence

“pathetic fallacy” is the literary term for the ascription of human feelings or motives to inanimate natural elements
Recent Examples on the Web Visually, black against white and white against black animate the dramatic central figure, distinguishing her from the inanimate corpses that lift her up, like a morbid human pedestal. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2024 The former is the mode of being that categorizes all inanimate and non-conscious objects. Theodore McDarrah, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 The film, which introduced the world to Chucky the killer doll with a plot that's as delightfully asinine as its antagonist, stars Catherine Hicks as a desperate mother trying to convince a detective (Chris Sarandon) that her young son (Alex Vincent) was framed for murder by his inanimate playmate. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 27 Nov. 2023 Was Pee-wee’s Playhouse, the astonishingly avant-garde series built around the character and his outlandish and occasionally inanimate friends, a Saturday morning variety platform directed at kids or a satire on Saturday morning variety platforms directed at grownups? Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 July 2023 See all Example Sentences for inanimate 

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Late Latin inanimatus, from Latin in- + animatus, past participle of animare to animate

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of inanimate was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near inanimate

Cite this Entry

“Inanimate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inanimate. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

inanimate

adjective
in·​an·​i·​mate (ˈ)in-ˈan-ə-mət How to pronounce inanimate (audio)
1
: not having life
stones are inanimate
an inanimate object
2
: not animated or lively : dull
inanimately adverb

Medical Definition

inanimate

adjective
in·​an·​i·​mate (ˈ)in-ˈan-ə-mət How to pronounce inanimate (audio)
: not animate:
a
: not endowed with life or spirit
b
: lacking consciousness or power of motion

More from Merriam-Webster on inanimate

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