from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To give life to; fill with life.
  • transitive verb To impart interest or zest to; enliven.
  • transitive verb To fill with spirit, courage, or resolution.
  • transitive verb To inspire to action; prompt.
  • transitive verb To impart motion or activity to.
  • transitive verb To make or depict using animation.
  • adjective Possessing life; living. synonym: living.
  • adjective Of or relating to animal life as distinct from plant life.
  • adjective Belonging to the class of nouns that stand for living things.
  • adjective Frequently moving; active or vigorous.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Latin animāre, animāt-, from anima, soul; see anə- in Indo-European roots.]

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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  • Between a stone, which is part of the body of the earth, and a leaf which is part of the body of a plant, and a lock of hair which is part of the body of a man, there may be certain unimportant chemical differences, justifying us in using the terms animate and inanimate.

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  • We are faced with a "universe," then, made up entirely of living souls, manifested in so-called animate, or so-called inanimate bodies.

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  • Some of these souls possess what we name animate bodies, others possess what we name inanimate bodies.

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