adjective Date: 1664 not active: as a. (1) sedentary (2) indolent, sluggish b. (1) being out of use (2) relating to or being members of the armed forces who are not performing or available for military duties (3) of a disease quiescent c. (1) chemically inert (2) optically neutral in polarized light d. biologically inert especially because of the loss of some quality (as infectivity or antigenicity) • inactively adverbinactivity noun Synonyms: inactive, idle, inert, passive, supine mean not engaged in work or activity. inactive applies to anyone or anything not in action or in operation or at work <
on inactive status as an astronaut
inactive accounts
. idle applies to persons that are not busy or occupied or to their powers or their implements <
workers were idle in the fields
. inert as applied to things implies powerlessness to move or to affect other things; as applied to persons it suggests an inherent or habitual indisposition to activity <
inert ingredients in drugs
an inert citizenry
. passive implies immobility or lack of normally expected response to an external force or influence and often suggests deliberate submissiveness or self-control <
passive resistance
. supine applies only to persons and commonly implies abjectness or indolence <
a supine willingness to play the fool

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • inactive — inactive, idle, inert, passive, supine mean not engaged in work or activity. Inactive is applicable to anyone or to anything that for any reason is not currently in action, in operation, in use, or at work {inactive machines} {delicate children… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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  • inactive — (adj.) 1725, from IN (Cf. in ) (1) not, opposite of + ACTIVE (Cf. active) …   Etymology dictionary

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  • inactive — [in ak′tiv] adj. 1. not active or moving 2. not inclined to act; idle; dull; sluggish 3. not in use or force; not functioning 4. not in active service in the armed forces 5. not affecting the plane of polarized light: said of some isomers of… …   English World dictionary

  • inactive — UK [ɪnˈæktɪv] / US adjective 1) a) not taking part in physical activity or exercise Physically inactive people are at risk of developing heart disease. b) not wanting to do anything He felt strangely inactive. 2) a) not working or operating an… …   English dictionary

  • inactive — ● inactif, inactive adjectif Qui n a pas d activité, n est marqué par aucune activité : Elle ne peut pas rester inactive. Une existence inactive et inutile. Qui est sans activité ou très peu actif, qui ne fonctionne pas, ne produit pas : Une… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • inactive — in|ac|tive [ ın æktıv ] adjective 1. ) not taking part in physical activity or exercise: Physically inactive people are at risk of developing heart disease. a ) not wanting to do anything: He felt strangely inactive. 2. ) not working or operating …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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