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
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 of inert from the Web
The book’s ventures into philosophy are similarly inert.
Assuming it is a swamp world, Johnston says that would require a planet with few, if any, geographical features, where all water would hang in low, inert bogs.
Instead of a working artifact capable of lighting a room or whipping up a soufflé, every piece that used electricity had become an inert sculpture.
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.
Origin and Etymology of inert
Latin inert-, iners unskilled, idle, from in- + art-, ars skill — more at arm
First Known Use: 1647
Synonym Discussion of inert
INERT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of inert for English Language Learners
: unable to move
: moving or acting very slowly
chemistry : not able to affect other chemicals when in contact with them : not chemically reactive
INERT Defined for Kids
Definition of inert for Students
: unable or slow to move or react inert gas
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
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up inert? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).