Definition of inanimate in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈanɪmət/


1Not alive: 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, insensate, without life, inert, motionless;
dead, defunct, extinct



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.


Pronunciation: /-ˈmeɪʃ(ə)n/


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

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words