inertia

noun
in·​er·​tia | \ i-ˈnər-shə How to pronounce inertia (audio) , -shē-ə \

Definition of inertia

1a : a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force
b : an analogous property of other physical quantities (such as electricity)
2 : indisposition to motion, exertion, or change : inertness

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Other Words from inertia

inertial \ i-​ˈnər-​shəl How to pronounce inertia (audio) , -​shē-​əl \ adjective
inertially \ i-​ˈnər-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce inertia (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

Inertia is the inherent property of a body that makes it oppose any force that would cause a change in its motion. A body at rest and a body in motion both oppose forces that might cause acceleration. The inertia of a body can be measured by its mass, which governs its resistance to the action of a force, or by its moment of inertia about a specified axis, which measures its resistance to the action of a torque about the same axiss.

Examples of inertia in a Sentence

He blames governmental inertia for the holdup. After 10 years in an unsatisfying job she overcame her inertia and went back to school.
Recent Examples on the Web This year has Gorilla Glued us to uncomfortable couches in a thick, depressive inertia. Bahar Ostadan, Vogue, "How the Nextdoor App Brought Me Optimism (and an Abundance of Free Home Decor) in 2020," 23 Dec. 2020 Breaking into home loans and insurance products means working in new regulatory frameworks and taking on established companies, not to mention breaking the inertia of the status quo. Patrick Clark, Bloomberg.com, "Opendoor Faces an Expensive Path to Profitability in Real Estate," 22 Dec. 2020 The newest name in inertia guns, Retay is quickly gaining a following, especially among Southern waterfowlers. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "The Best 20-Gauge Shotguns for Hunting Waterfowl," 30 Nov. 2020 The buttstock of inertia guns must be firmly placed against your shoulder (the action needs that backstop to operate properly). Chris Mudgett, Outdoor Life, "Why a Shotgun Is a Great Option for Home Defense—Plus 3 Guns You Should Buy," 18 Sep. 2020 The relative weight of a tire is important because that weight moves up and down over every bump, and more inertia in those movements can dramatically worsen ride quality. Wes Siler, Outdoor Life, "How to Build the Ultimate Hunting Truck," 29 Sep. 2020 Keeping the focus Despite the 2018 National Defense Strategy and its focus on Asia, inertia and history can still keep the attention of the US defense establishment tilted toward Europe, analysts said. Brad Lendon, CNN, "China's military rise poses the greatest foreign policy challenge to the next US President," 29 Oct. 2020 This can be considered a good thing since your inertia might prevent you from making an irrevocable mistake. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Oct. 23, 2020: Happy birthday Emilia Clark; Scorpio, you’ll be forced to choose a side," 23 Oct. 2020 More weight also adds inertia that must be overcome in order to accelerate or decelerate a spinning tire, impairing both braking and acceleration. Wes Siler, Outdoor Life, "How to Build the Ultimate Hunting Truck," 29 Sep. 2020

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

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First Known Use of inertia

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for inertia

New Latin, from Latin, lack of skill, from inert-, iners

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Time Traveler for inertia

Time Traveler

The first known use of inertia was in 1713

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Statistics for inertia

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inertia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inertia. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for inertia

inertia

noun
How to pronounce inertia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inertia

: lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed
: a feeling of not having the energy or desire that is needed to move, change, etc.
physics : a property of matter by which something that is not moving remains still and something that is moving goes at the same speed and in the same direction until another thing or force affects it

inertia

noun
in·​er·​tia | \ i-ˈnər-shə How to pronounce inertia (audio) \

Kids Definition of inertia

1 : a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force
2 : a tendency not to move or change He stayed at the job mostly because of his inertia.

inertia

noun
in·​er·​tia | \ in-ˈər-shə, -shē-ə How to pronounce inertia (audio) \

Medical Definition of inertia

1a : a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force
b : an analogous property of other physical quantities (as electricity)
2 : lack of activity or movement used especially of the uterus in labor when its contractions are weak or irregular

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Comments on inertia

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