Definition of inanimate in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈanəmət/


1Not alive, especially not in the manner of animals and humans: inanimate objects like stones
More example sentences
  • One important distinction within the natural world is found in the fact that some natural substances are alive and others inanimate.
  • The word ‘article’ means something inanimate which is not and never has been alive.
  • I still have occasional empathy with inanimate objects.
1.1Showing no sign of life; lifeless: he was completely inanimate, and it was difficult to see if he was breathing
More example sentences
  • His limbs were inanimate, leaving motion only to his prickly black hair dancing to the silent hum of the ocean.
  • And still the numbers and names of the dead ‘hammer through his mind, inanimate as nails’.
  • In both photographs the inanimate face is shown in three-quarter profile facing right against a blank background.
lifeless, insentient, without life, inorganic;
dead, defunct



Example sentences
  • Relentlessly, she stared at the phone sitting inanimately on her desk, willing it to ring because there was no way she'd sacrifice her own pride and call Chris herself.
  • My eyes wandered to the phone sitting inanimately, as it should have been, on my nightstand right beside my picture frame, which held a collage of pictures from over the years.
  • The two men had stood there for what must have been an hour, staring inanimately at the carcass that lay before them.


Late Middle English: from late Latin inanimatus 'lifeless', from in- 'not' + animatus (see animate).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·an·i·mate

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