tr.v. an·i·mat·ed, an·i·mat·ing, an·i·mates
1. To give life to; fill with life: the belief that the soul animates the body.
2. To impart interest or zest to; enliven: "voices animated by food, drink, and company" (Anita Desai).
3. To fill with spirit, courage, or resolution: "a wave of exploratory voyages animated by a spirit of scientific inquiry" (Lincoln P. Paine).
4. To inspire to action; prompt: "The merest whisper of Bothwell's death was enough to animate Mary's supporters on the Continent" (John Guy).
5. To impart motion or activity to: The wind animated the surface of the lake.
6. To make or depict using animation: animate a children's bedtime story.
1. Possessing life; living. See Synonyms at living.
2. Of or relating to animal life as distinct from plant life.
3. Belonging to the class of nouns that stand for living things: The word dog is animate; the word car is inanimate.
4. Frequently moving; active or vigorous: a bird with an animate tail.
[Latin animāre, animāt-, from anima, soul; see anə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.