inan·​i·​ty | \ i-ˈna-nə-tē How to pronounce inanity (audio) \
plural inanities

Definition of inanity

1 : the quality or state of being inane: such as
a : lack of substance : emptiness
b : vapid, pointless, or fatuous character : shallowness
2 : something that is inane

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of inanity in a Sentence

quickly realized that her suggestion was an inanity and withdrew it the jaw-dropping inanity of the singer's comments on the awards show

Recent Examples on the Web

Forcing them to repeat themselves should prompt them to recognize their own inanity, if not their rudeness. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Stay-at-home dad objects to ‘playing hooky’ remarks," 5 June 2019 Forcing them to repeat themselves should prompt them to recognize their own inanity, if not their rudeness. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: I’m a stay-at-home dad, and their remarks offend me," 5 June 2019 Veep has managed to both address gender politics and the inanity of what's expected of women in power, as well as critique the whole system of power itself, without (hardly) ever punching down. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Julia Louis-Dreyfus on Veep's Final Season and Why She Wrote a Personal Letter to Christine Blasey Ford," 28 Mar. 2019 After only a little more inanity, Mr. Jay himself appeared. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Sleights of Hand With Cards, Coins and a Colander," 26 June 2018 The Crew 2 doesn’t even have fun with the inanity inherent in chasing nonspecific social media presence points. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "The Crew 2 review: Where is everybody?," 10 July 2018 Zone Out's script, just like Sunspring's, teeters on the edge of inanity and emotion—which, honestly, puts it right up there with the best of the sci-fi canon. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "This wild, AI-generated film is the next step in “whole-movie puppetry”," 11 June 2018 The stories in Robert Aickman’s Compulsory Games, reissued this month by New York Review Books Classics, plumb the darkness curtained off by our normal, boring lives, as well as the inanity of those lives themselves. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Weird Fiction Is Alive," 7 May 2018 The psychiatric security board, with jurisdiction over 153 people acquitted of crimes by reason of inanity, must approve any transfer, as well as any temporary leaves or conditional discharges, should they be requested in the future. Josh Kovner,, "Six Years After Insanity Acquittal, Killer Of Wesleyan Student Could Gain Greater Freedoms," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inanity.' 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 inanity

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inanity

Statistics for inanity

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inanity

The first known use of inanity was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on inanity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inanity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inanity

Spanish Central: Translation of inanity

Nglish: Translation of inanity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inanity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inanity

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


having a desire to acquire more things

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!