In*ert" (?), a. [L. iners, inertis, unskilled, idle; pref. in- + ars art: cf. F. inerte. See Art.]

1.

Destitute of the power of moving itself, or of active resistance to motion; as, matter is inert.

2.

Indisposed to move or act; very slow to act; sluggish; dull; inactive; indolent; lifeless.

The inert and desponding party of the court. Macaulay.

It present becomes extravagant, then imbecile, and at length utterly inert. I. Taylor.

3.

Not having or manifesting active properties; not affecting other substances when brought in contact with them; powerless for an expected or desired effect.

Syn. -- Inactive; dull; passive; indolent; sluggish; slothful; lazy; lifeless; irresolute; stupid; senseless; insensible. -- Inert, Inactive, Sluggish. A man may be inactive from mere want of stimulus to effort; but one who is inert has something in his constitution or his habits which operates like a weight holding him back from exertion. Sluggish is still stronger, implying some defect of temperament which directly impedes action. Inert and inactive are negative, sluggish is positive.

Even the favored isles . . . Can boast but little virtue; and, inert Through plenty, lose in morals what they gain In manners -- victims of luxurious ease. Cowper.

Doomed to lose four months in inactive obscurity. Johnson.

Sluggish Idleness, the nurse of sin, Upon a slothful ass he chose to ride. Spenser.

 

© Webster 1913.

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