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
  1. verb
    make lively
    synonyms: enliven, invigorate, liven, liven up
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    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
  2. verb
    give new life or energy to
    synonyms: quicken, reanimate, recreate, renovate, repair, revive, revivify, vivify
    come to, resuscitate, revive
    return to consciousness
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    type of:
    arouse, brace, energise, energize, perk up, stimulate
    cause to be alert and energetic
  3. verb
    give lifelike qualities to
    “animate d cartoons”
    synonyms: animise, animize
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  4. verb
    heighten or intensify
    synonyms: 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
    buoy, 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
  5. adjective
    endowed with animal life as distinguished from plant life
    “we are animate beings”
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    inanimate, non-living, nonliving
    not endowed with life
    relating to the lack of consciousness of inanimate things
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  6. adjective
    endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
    synonyms: sentient
    having physical sensation
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    insensate, insentient
    devoid of feeling and consciousness and animation
    devoid of feeling or sensation
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  7. adjective
    belonging to the class of nouns that denote living beings
    “the word `dog' is animate
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    belonging to the class of nouns denoting nonliving things
Word Family

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