Definitions

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

  • adj. Not active or tending to be active.
  • adj. Not functioning or operating; out of use: inactive machinery.
  • adj. Not being in continuous use or operation: an inactive brokerage account.
  • adj. Retired from duty or service.
  • adj. Chemistry Not readily participating in chemical reactions; inert.
  • adj. Biology Marked by the absence or reduction of activity, such as the ability to cause infection.
  • adj. Medicine Quiescent. Used especially of a disease.
  • adj. Physics Showing no optical activity in polarized light.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not active, temporarily or permanently
  • adj. Not functioning or operating; broken down
  • adj. Retired from duty or service
  • adj. Relatively inert
  • adj. Showing no optical activity in polarized light

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not active; having no power to move; that does not or can not produce results; inert.
  • adj. Not disposed to action or effort; not diligent or industrious; not busy; idle.
  • adj. Not exhibiting any action or activity on polarized light; optically inactive; optically neutral; -- said of isomeric forms of certain substances, in distinction from other forms which are optically active.
  • adj. Lacking biological or biochemical activity; not causing a specific biological or biochemical effect; -- said of substances such as enzymes which have lost their catalytic power, or of small molecules which are tested for some type of biological activity and found to lack that activity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not active or acting.
  • Marked by inaction or sluggishness; destitute of activity: as, an inactive existence; the inactive stage of insect life (that is, the period of metamorphosis, generally passed in concealment). Synonyms Inert, Lazy, etc. (see idle), passive, supine.
  • In chem., causing no rotation in the plane of polarized light.

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

  • adj. (chemistry) not participating in a chemical reaction; chemically inert
  • adj. (military) not involved in military operations
  • adj. lacking in energy or will
  • adj. (pathology) not progressing or increasing; or progressing slowly
  • adj. not exerting influence or change
  • adj. not engaged in full-time work
  • adj. not in physical motion
  • adj. (of e.g. volcanos) not erupting and not extinct
  • adj. lacking activity; lying idle or unused
  • adj. not active physically or mentally

Etymologies

From in- +‎ active (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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