verb (used with object), an·i·mat·ed, an·i·mat·ing.

  1. to give life to; make alive: God animated the dust.
  2. to make lively, vivacious, or vigorous; give zest or spirit to: Her presence animated the party.
  3. to fill with courage or boldness; encourage: to animate weary troops.
  4. to move or stir to action; motivate: He was animated by religious zeal.
  5. to give motion to: leaves animated by a breeze.
  6. to render or produce (a story, character, movie, etc.) by using animation: to animate a children’s story;to animate the characters in a video game;an animated film.


  1. alive; possessing life: animate creatures.
  2. lively: an animate expression of joy.
  3. of or relating to animal life.
  4. able to move voluntarily.
  5. 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 inanimate).

verb (ˈænɪˌmeɪt) (tr)

  1. to give life to or cause to come alive
  2. to make lively; enliven
  3. to encourage or inspire
  4. to impart motion to; move to action or work
  5. to record on film or video tape so as to give movement toan animated cartoon

adjective (ˈænɪmɪt)

  1. being alive or having life
  2. 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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