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to give life to; make alive:
God animated the dust.
to make lively, vivacious, or vigorous; give zest or spirit to:
Her presence animated the party.
to fill with courage or boldness; encourage:
to animate weary troops.
to move or stir to action; motivate:
He was animated by religious zeal.
to give motion to:
leaves animated by a breeze.
to prepare or produce as an :
to animate a children’s story.
alive; possessing life:
animate creatures.
an animate expression of joy.
of or relating to animal life.
able to move voluntarily.
Linguistics. belonging to a syntactic category or having a semantic feature that is characteristic of words denoting beings regarded as having perception and volition (opposed to ).
Contemporary Examples

His fingers were rubbing back and forth on the photo, as if he was trying to animate his baby back to life.
A Personal Plea for Gun Control Joshua DuBois April 9, 2013

Investors clearly believe in the value of patents and the inventions they animate.
New Calculations of U.S. GDP Finally Take Research and Development Into Account Robert Shapiro August 1, 2013

It is the economic questions—about the gap between rich and poor—that animate the party now.
Andrew Cuomo Can’t Ignore It Now: He’s Weak Even at Home David Freedlander September 9, 2014

I admire his vision in his domestic affairs and the deeply Jewish values that seem to animate him.
Obama: Come Visit The Settlements Samuel Lebens March 20, 2013

The other woman who is intelligent and accomplished, as well as beautiful, is harder to reduce to animate object.
The Passion of Mark Sanford Kathleen Parker June 26, 2009

Historical Examples

His name and memory were all that was left to animate us through the difficulties that were yet before us.
A Soldier’s Experience or A Voice from the Ranks: Showing the Cost of War in Blood and Treasure Timothy Gowing

It was an animate statue to the excellence of good, clean living.
Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser

They took the torch with them, and as they moved up the corridor the darkness slunk behind them like an animate thing.
The Hour of the Dragon Robert E. Howard

No sound escaped her lips; no thought for herself or for others seemed to animate her.
The Scapegoat Hall Caine

The object gazed at may be inanimate or animate, but he sees not its natural form; his adored deity appears in everything.
Chaitanya’s Life And Teachings Krishna das Kaviraja

verb (transitive) (ˈænɪˌmeɪt)
to give life to or cause to come alive
to make lively; enliven
to encourage or inspire
to impart motion to; move to action or work
to record on film or video tape so as to give movement to: an animated cartoon
adjective (ˈænɪmɪt)
being alive or having life
gay, spirited, or lively

1530s, “to fill with boldness or courage,” from Latin animatus past participle of animare “give breath to,” also “to endow with a particular spirit, to give courage to,” from anima “life, breath” (see animus). Sense of “give life to” in English attested from 1742. Related: Animated; animating.

“alive,” late 14c., from Latin animatus (see animate (v.)).


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    full of life, action, or spirit; lively; vigorous: an animated debate on the death penalty. made or equipped to move or give the appearance of moving in an animallike fashion: animated puppets. containing representations of animals or mechanical objects that appear to move as real ones do: an animated window display. Contemporary Examples “I think […]

  • Animator

    a person or thing that . an artist who draws cartoons. Contemporary Examples An installation by South African animator William Kentridge, vaguely on the subject of time, recalls 1920s expressionist theater. The Art Exhibition Documenta Contains Almost Too Much Good Art to Experience Blake Gopnik June 8, 2012 I wanted to be an animator when […]

  • Animatic

    a preliminary form of a television commercial consisting of a series of drawings with a voice-over, prepared chiefly for test-marketing. of or relating to animatics.

  • Animation

    quality; liveliness; vivacity; spirit: to talk with animation. an act or instance of or enlivening. the state or condition of being . the process of preparing cartoons. Contemporary Examples As DreamWorks foundered, the animation division had to be split from live-action into a separate company. A Taxpayer Bailout for DreamWorks Animation? Kim Masters March 18, […]

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