from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To give life to; fill with life.
  • transitive v. To impart interest or zest to; enliven: "The party was animated by all kinds of men and women” ( René Dubos).
  • transitive v. To fill with spirit, courage, or resolution; encourage. See Synonyms at encourage.
  • transitive v. To inspire to action; prompt.
  • transitive v. To impart motion or activity to.
  • transitive v. To make, design, or produce (a cartoon, for example) so as to create the illusion of motion.
  • adj. Possessing life; living. See Synonyms at living.
  • adj. Of or relating to animal life as distinct from plant life.
  • adj. Belonging to the class of nouns that stand for living things: The word dog is animate; the word car is inanimate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. That which lives.
  • adj. Possessing the quality or ability of motion.
  • adj. Dynamic, energetic.
  • adj. Having a referent that includes a human or animal.
  • adj. Inflected to agree with an animate noun or pronoun.
  • v. To impart motion or the appearance of motion to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Endowed with life; alive; living; animated; lively.
  • transitive v. To give natural life to; to make alive; to quicken.
  • transitive v. To give powers to, or to heighten the powers or effect of.
  • transitive v. To give spirit or vigor to; to stimulate or incite; to inspirit; to rouse; to enliven.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To give natural life to; quicken; make alive: as, the soul animates the body.
  • To affect with an appearance of life; inspire or actuate as if with life; bring into action or movement.
  • To move or actuate the mind of; incite to mental action; prompt.
  • To give spirit or vigor to; infuse courage, joy, or other enlivening passion into; stimulate: as, to animate dispirited troops.
  • Synonyms To vivify. To revive, invigorate. To enliven, stimulate, inspirit, exhilarate, cheer, gladden, impel, urge on, prompt, incite.
  • To become enlivened or exhilarated; rouse one's self.
  • Alive; possessing animal life: as, “creatures animate,”
  • Having the appearance of life; resembling that which is alive; lively.
  • Pertaining to living things: as, “animate diseases,” Kirby and Spence, Entomol.
  • In grammar, referring to living things as indicated by a difference of form in the designating word: said of gender in some languages. See the quotation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. belonging to the class of nouns that denote living beings
  • adj. endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
  • adj. endowed with animal life as distinguished from plant life
  • v. give new life or energy to
  • v. make lively
  • v. give lifelike qualities to
  • v. heighten or intensify


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin animāre, animāt-, from anima, soul.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin animatus, past participle of animare ("to fill with breath, quicken, encourage, animate"), from anima ("breath"); see anima.


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  • For example, humans certainly seem to have an innate facility with the concepts of numbers, with mental representations of the idea of animate agents, with the concept that the world is composed (in some way) of discrete objects, etc.


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