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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.