At its most basic, animate means simply alive, while inanimate means not living, not moving around. But animate also means spirited, or brought to life.

Animated cartoons are what we think of as pictures come to life: animation. Animate derives from the Latin anima "life, soul, spirit." When you seem particularly filled with life, or high-spirited, if you laugh loudly, or use broad gestures, you're animated.

Definitions of animate

v make lively

enliven, invigorate, liven, liven up
blunt, deaden
make less lively, intense, or vigorous; impair in vigor, force, activity, or sensation
ginger up, jazz up, juice up, pep up
make more interesting or lively
inspirit, spirit, spirit up
infuse with spirit
Type of:
arouse, brace, energise, energize, perk up, stimulate
cause to be alert and energetic

v give new life or energy to

quicken, reanimate, recreate, renovate, repair, revive, revivify, vivify
come to, resuscitate, revive
return to consciousness
Type of:
arouse, brace, energise, energize, perk up, stimulate
cause to be alert and energetic

v give lifelike qualities to

“animate d cartoons”
animise, animize
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v heighten or intensify

enliven, exalt, inspire, invigorate
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inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to
barrack, cheer, exhort, inspire, pep up, root on, urge, urge on
spur on or encourage especially by cheers and shouts
foster, nurture
help develop, help grow
encourage somebody by crying hollo
cheer, embolden, hearten, recreate
give encouragement to
draw out
make more sociable
bring out
encourage to be less reserved
goad, spur
give heart or courage to
Type of:
excite, shake, shake up, stimulate, stir
stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of

adj endowed with animal life as distinguished from plant life

“we are animate beings”
inanimate, non-living, nonliving
not endowed with life
relating to the lack of consciousness of inanimate things
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adj endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness

having physical sensation
insensate, insentient
devoid of feeling and consciousness and animation
devoid of feeling or sensation
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adj belonging to the class of nouns that denote living beings

“the word `dog' is animate
belonging to the class of nouns denoting nonliving things

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