Definitions

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

  • adjective Incapable of moving or acting.
  • adjective Sluggish in action or motion; lethargic. synonym: inactive.
  • adjective Chemistry Not readily reactive with other elements; forming few or no chemical compounds.
  • adjective Having no pharmacologic, metabolic, or other physiological effect.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having no inherent power of action, motion, or resistance; without inherent force; inanimate; lifeless: applied to matter in its intrinsic character: as, an inert mass of clay; an inert corpse.
  • Indisposed or unable to move or act; inactive; sluggish: as, an inert drug.

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

  • adjective Destitute of the power of moving itself, or of active resistance to motion.
  • adjective Indisposed to move or act; very slow to act; sluggish; dull; inactive; indolent; lifeless.
  • adjective Not having or manifesting active properties; not affecting other substances when brought in contact with them; powerless for an expected or desired effect.

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

  • adjective Unable to move or act; inanimate.
  • adjective Sluggish or lethargic.
  • adjective In chemistry, not readily reacting with other elements or compounds.
  • adjective Having no therapeutic action.
  • noun chemistry A substance that does not react chemically.

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

  • adjective slow and apathetic
  • adjective unable to move or resist motion
  • adjective having only a limited ability to react chemically; chemically inactive

Etymologies

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

[Latin iners, inert- : in-, not; see in– + ars, skill; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French inerte, from Latin iners ("inactive, inert").

Examples

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • A nerd is never inert.

    September 28, 2008