in·​ert | \ i-ˈnərt How to pronounce inert (audio) \

Definition of inert

1 : lacking the power to move
2 : very slow to move or act : sluggish
3 : deficient in active properties especially : lacking a usual or anticipated chemical or biological action

Other Words from inert

inert noun
inertly adverb
inertness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for inert

inactive, idle, inert, passive, supine mean not engaged in work or activity. inactive applies to anyone or anything not in action or in operation or at work. on inactive status as an astronaut inactive accounts idle applies to persons that are not busy or occupied or to their powers or their implements. workers were idle in the fields inert as applied to things implies powerlessness to move or to affect other things; as applied to persons it suggests an inherent or habitual indisposition to activity. inert ingredients in drugs an inert citizenry passive implies immobility or lack of normally expected response to an external force or influence and often suggests deliberate submissiveness or self-control. passive resistance supine applies only to persons and commonly implies abjectness or indolence. a supine willingness to play the fool

Examples of inert in a Sentence

an inert and lifeless body How does he propose to stimulate the inert economy and create jobs?
Recent Examples on the Web The people in the villages all across Russia are fairly inert politically. CBS News, 30 Mar. 2022 Another video showed one shirtless man, not moving, a pool of blood around his head, and fans kicking other inert bodies. Anthony Harrup And José De Córdoba, WSJ, 6 Mar. 2022 But the Foos are stuck with a crass, crude, dated and terribly unfunny script written by Jeff Buhler and Rebecca Hughes from a story by Grohl, and McDonnell’s filmmaking is rather inert. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2022 According to a statement on Naval Air Station Jacksonville’s website, the Navy has planned training exercises for both inert and live bombing at the Pinecastle Range Complex from noon-11:59 p.m. Richard Tribou,, 22 Feb. 2022 But as text flashes up periodically marking off Day 26, 48, 84, and so on through Day 865, the storytelling grows repetitive, almost inert. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2022 Mostly, Tell has to talk; and as an emotionally inert man whose own inability to refuse orders or control rage in the past have sunk him to nearly unimaginable depths, Tell is not set up to win over an audience. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 As a result, Garner’s Anna is rendered largely inert. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 11 Feb. 2022 There is no guarantee what may get vaulted a year from now, and which part of your $60 purchase could be rendered inert, but that’s the risk with Destiny 2 these days. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inert.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of inert

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inert

Latin inert-, iners unskilled, idle, from in- + art-, ars skill — more at arm

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Dictionary Entries Near inert

in error



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Statistics for inert

Last Updated

21 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inert.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for inert


in·​ert | \ i-ˈnərt How to pronounce inert (audio) \

Kids Definition of inert

: unable or slow to move or react inert gas

Other Words from inert

inertness noun


in·​ert | \ in-ˈərt How to pronounce inert (audio) \

Medical Definition of inert

1 : lacking the power to move
2 : deficient in active properties especially : lacking a usual or anticipated chemical or biological action an inert drug

Other Words from inert

inertness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on inert

Nglish: Translation of inert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inert for Arabic Speakers


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