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

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 latter high tide is due to inertia, as Earth itself is pulled slightly toward the moon. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 28 Apr. 2022 The immense agency simply has too much inertia, experts charge, to allow for significant change — as evidenced by dead-end attempts to reduce the number of institutes or fund more aggressive research proposals. Lev Facher, STAT, 25 Mar. 2022 This inertia helps power plants dampen slight variations in power instead of transferring them to the rest of the grid. Anna Blaustein, Scientific American, 23 Mar. 2022 This relative inertia marks a significant change from the last couple of years, anyway. Caroline Framke, Variety, 23 Mar. 2022 Overcoming this inertia and resistance to change is difficult, especially since this resistance is often not entirely conscious. Scott Gilbertson, Wired, 1 Jan. 2022 Simon liked to say that The Wire was not about corruption (with stray exceptions like state senator Clay Davis), but rather institutionalized inertia. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 20 Apr. 2022 This stunning collision between unexpected excellence and inescapable inertia really happened, in the heart of the city from the late 1980s into the 1990s, at the James P. Timilty Middle School. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Apr. 2022 But in the rush to remote work, many organizations fell victim to the inertia of tradition and missed the opportunity to design work to fit specific needs of the business and remote employees themselves. Keahn Gary, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near inertia

inert gas

inertia

inertial force

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Statistics for inertia

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inertia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inertia. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for inertia

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

More from Merriam-Webster on inertia

Nglish: Translation of inertia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inertia for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about inertia

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