Definition of inanition in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌɪnəˈnɪʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun] formal
1Exhaustion caused by lack of nourishment: the members of the rear party died of inanition
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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'.

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.