Definition of inanition in English:


Line breaks: in¦an|ition
Pronunciation: /ˌɪnəˈnɪʃ(ə)n


[mass noun] formal
  • 1Exhaustion caused by lack of nourishment: the members of the rear party died of inanition
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    • Despite surgical resection and chemotherapy, the patient's condition deteriorated during the next month and he died of inanition and cardiac failure.
    • Asthma, cancer, wasting, hemorrhage, inanition, and death have been linked to mold exposure since ancient times.
  • 1.1Lack of mental or spiritual vigour and enthusiasm: she was thinking that old age bred inanition
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    • Third terms slide towards inanition, or degrade into corruption and chaos.
    • For the young lovers, Pelléas and Mélisande, the only ‘happiness’ is acquiescence in their destiny - what happens to them; and acquiescence becomes identified with inanition.
    • I would not accept a proposition that even if a Plaintiff's case has collapsed of its inanition or for some reason or other, judgment should nevertheless be given to him on the ground that a defence set up by the opponent has also collapsed.


late Middle English: from late Latin inanitio(n-), from Latin inanire 'make empty', from inanis 'empty, vain'.

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