AskDefine | Define inactive

Dictionary Definition

inactive adj
1 not participating in a chemical reaction; "desired amounts of inactive chlorine"
2 not progressing or increasing; or progressing slowly [ant: active]
3 not active or exerting influence [ant: active]
4 of e.g. volcanos; permanently inactive; "an extinct volcano" [syn: extinct] [ant: active, dormant]
5 of e.g. volcanos; temporarily inactive; "a dormant volcano" [syn: dormant] [ant: extinct, active]
6 lacking in energy or will; "Much benevolence of the passive order may be traced to a disinclination to inflict pain upon oneself"- George Meredith [syn: passive] [ant: active]
7 lacking activity; lying idle or unused; "an inactive mine"; "inactive accounts"; "inactive machinery" [ant: active]
8 not engaged in full-time work; "inactive reserve" ; "an inactive member of the department" [ant: active]
9 not active physically or mentally; "illness forced him to live an inactive life"; "dreamy and inactive by nature" [ant: active]
10 not engaged in military action [syn: reserve(a)]
11 not in physical motion; "the inertia of an object at rest" [syn: motionless, static, still]
12 temporarily inactive [syn: abeyant, in abeyance(p), suspended]

User Contributed Dictionary



From in- + active


  1. Not active, temporarily or permanently
    The volcano is inactive, but is only dormant.
  2. Not functioning or operating; broken down
    The photocopier is inactive pending repair.
  3. Retired from duty or service
    Admiral Jones is now on the inactive list.
  4. Relatively inert
    Aluminium is inactive towards water.
  5. Showing no optical activity in polarized light
    Synthetic glycine is optically inactive as it contains equal amounts of the d- and l- form.

Derived terms

Related terms


Not active, temporarily or permanently
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