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
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inactive machines

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delicate children are usually inactive

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an inactive charge account

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in winter, when . . . mosquitoes, exceptionally large, numerous, and aggressive in this section, are inactive— Amer. Guide Series: La.

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Idle (see also VAIN 1) applies chiefly to persons who are without occupation or not busy at the moment, but it is also applicable to their powers or to the implements they use
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why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us— Mt 20:6 —7

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though his pen was now idle, his tongue was active— Macaulay

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is a field idle when it is fallow?— Shaw

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every idle miner directly and individually is obstructing our war effort— Roosevelt

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Inert as applied to a thing (as matter, a substance, or a drug) implies inherent lack of power to set itself in motion or by itself to produce a given or understood effect
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[comets] were now shown to be mere chunks of inert matter, driven to describe paths round the sun by exactly the same forces as prescribed the orderly motions of the planets— Jeans

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commercial fertilizers consist of three to five hundred pounds of available plant food . . . extended with harmless inert materials to make a ton of product— Morrison

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As applied to persons or their activities, inert suggests inherent or habitual indisposition to activity or extreme difficulty in stimulating or setting in motion
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inert citizens are not easily aroused to action by evidence of graft or waste

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many students are too inert to derive much stimulation from the books they read

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the inert were roused, and lively natures rapt away \—Wordsworth

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Passive implies immobility or a lack of a positive reaction when subjected to external driving or impelling forces or to provocation
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the mind is wholly passive in the reception of all its simple ideas— Locke

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to sit as a passive bucket and be pumped into . . . can in the long run be exhilarating to no creature— Carlyle

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deprecated . . . the passive reception of everything that comes from a foreign press— Warfel

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In an extended sense passive often implies submissiveness without such positive responsiveness as would help the person or side that attacks or seeks to impose its will
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passive obedience

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but it still more often implies a failure to be provoked to action or resistance
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to be passive in calamity is the province of no woman— Meredith

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Supine implies abject or cowardly inertia or passivity usually as a result of apathy or indolence
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it is impossible to remain supine when war threatens

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condition of static lethargy and supine incuriousness— H uxley

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Analogous words: *latent, quiescent, dormant, abeyant, potential: torpid, comatose, sluggish, *lethargic
Antonyms: active, live
Contrasted words: operative, dynamic (see ACTIVE): *busy, industrious, diligent: employed, used, utilized, applied (see USE vb)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • inactive — in‧ac‧tive [ɪnˈæktɪv] adjective 1. FINANCE if investors or dealers in a financial market are inactive, they are buying and selling very little: • Institutions continued to buy stocks selectively, while small investors remained inactive. 2.… …   Financial and business terms

  • Inactive — In*ac tive, a. [Pref. in not + active: cf. F. inactif.] [1913 Webster] 1. Not active; having no power to move; that does not or can not produce results; inert; as, matter is, of itself, inactive. [1913 Webster] 2. Not disposed to action or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • inactive — I adjective abeyant, abolished, abrogated, apathetic, canceled, comatose, destroyed, disabled, dormant, idle, ignavus, inanimate, indifferent, indolent, iners, inert, inoperative, insentient, invalid, languid, latent, lazy, lethargic, lethargical …   Law dictionary

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

  • inactive — [adj] not engaged in action; inert, lazy abeyant, asleep, blah*, disengaged, do nothing*, dormant, down, draggy, dull, idle, immobile, indolent, in holding pattern*, inoperative, jobless, latent, lax, lethargic, limp, low key, mothballed*,… …   New thesaurus

  • inactive — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ not active, working, or energetic. DERIVATIVES inactivity noun …   English terms dictionary

  • 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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