• WordNet 3.6
    • adj inactive not active physically or mentally "illness forced him to live an inactive life","dreamy and inactive by nature"
    • adj inactive not engaged in full-time work "inactive reserve","an inactive member"
    • adj inactive lacking activity; lying idle or unused "an inactive mine","inactive accounts","inactive machinery"
    • adj inactive (pathology) not progressing or increasing; or progressing slowly
    • adj inactive lacking in energy or will "Much benevolence of the passive order may be traced to a disinclination to inflict pain upon oneself"- George Meredith"
    • adj inactive (of e.g. volcanos) not erupting and not extinct "a dormant volcano"
    • adj inactive not exerting influence or change
    • adj inactive not in physical motion "the inertia of an object at rest"
    • adj inactive (military) not involved in military operations
    • adj inactive (chemistry) not participating in a chemical reaction; chemically inert "desired amounts of inactive chlorine"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Inactive (Chem. & Biochem) Lacking biological or biochemical activity; not causing a specific biological or biochemical effect; -- said of substances such as enzymes which have lost their catalytic power, or of small molecules which are tested for some type of biological activity and found to lack that activity; as, after boiling for ten minutes, the enzyme was totally inactive; the methyl analog was inactive as an antibiotic.
    • Inactive Not active; having no power to move; that does not or can not produce results; inert; as, matter is, of itself, inactive .
    • Inactive Not disposed to action or effort; not diligent or industrious; not busy; idle; as, an inactive officer.
    • Inactive (Chem. & Opt) Not exhibiting any action or activity on polarized light; optically inactive; optically neutral; -- said of isomeric forms of certain substances, in distinction from other forms which are optically active; as, racemic acid is an inactive tartaric acid.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • inactive Not active or acting. Incapable of action; without power of movement or exertion; inert; lifeless: as, matter is of itself inactive.
    • inactive Marked by inaction or sluggishness; destitute of activity: as, an inactive existence; the inactive stage of insect life (that is, the period of metamorphosis, generally passed in concealment). Synonyms Inert, Lazy, etc. (see idle), passive, supine.
    • inactive In chem., causing no rotation in the plane of polarized light.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Inactive in-akt′iv having no power to move: idle: lazy:
    • adj Inactive in-akt′iv (chem.) not showing any action
    • ***


  • Winston Churchill
    “I never worry about action, but only inaction.”
  • Charles J. Givens
    Charles J. Givens
    “Use the losses and failures of the past as a reason for action, not inaction.”
  • Roberto Goizueta
    Roberto Goizueta
    “The moment avoiding failure becomes your motivation, you're down the path of inactivity. You stumble only if you're moving.”
  • Dale Carnegie
    “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
  • Doug Horton
    “Action cures fear, inaction creates terror.”
  • Jimmy Connors
    Jimmy Connors
    “Rather than viewing a brief relapse back to inactivity as a failure, treat it as a challenge and try to get back on track as soon as possible.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Pref. in-, not + active,: cf. F. inactif,


In literature:

In the first campaign the Yorkists failed, owing to their inactivity.
"Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 1 of 8" by Various
I'faith, you're handcuffed to inaction.
"A Daughter of Raasay" by William MacLeod Raine
Delay and inaction calmed Febrer.
"The Dead Command" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
Morning found the hunters and their new friend weary with suspense and their long inactivity.
"The Boy Chums in the Forest" by Wilmer M. Ely
Constans grew restless, impatient, uneasy, until finally inaction became intolerable.
"The Doomsman" by Van Tassel Sutphen
All have gone to earth; some are inactive, close to the surface; the rest are busy in their crypts.
"The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles" by Jean Henri Fabre
It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that the Jew has been inactive in other spheres.
"Jewish Literature and Other Essays" by Gustav Karpeles
He was no longer inactive.
"The Ocean Waifs" by Mayne Reid
That, he reflected, would give her a safer though more inactive role.
"El Diablo" by Brayton Norton
In my inaction, I prefer talking to the trees, the flowers, the sun, and the wind.
"Memoirs To Illustrate The History Of My Time" by François Pierre Guillaume Guizot

In poetry:

Ye seas, in your eternal roar,
His sacred praise proclaim;
While the inactive sluggish shore
Re-echoes to the same.
"Hymn To God's Power" by James Thomson
What's friendship? The hangover's faction,
The gratis talk of outrage,
Exchange by vanity, inaction,
Or bitter shame of patronage.
"Friendship" by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
Behold yon streamlet gliding by,
Whose waves are onward moving;
That image to the mind should be,
A spur to inactivity,
Each sluggish soul reproving.
"On The Fading Enjoyments Of Time" by Elizabeth Bath
I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.
"Hawk Roosting" by Ted Hughes
Foremost of citizens and best of chiefs,
Within thy mind no weak inaction lay;
Leal to thy standards, firm in thy beliefs;
As quick to do, as others are to say.
"Theodore Roosevelt" by Howard Phillips Lovecraft

In news:

They were among the Jets' seven inactives.
Patriots Gs Mankins, Connolly inactive, Colts LB Mathis returns after missing 5th game of year.
Connor (neck) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Eagles, ESPN's Dan Granziano reports.
According to officials the fire was inactive overnight, with no growth reported.
Mendenhall inactive again for Steelers.
Much of my time, though, I passed downstairs in the basement, in the inactive files division, where the closed welfare cases were cataloged.
The Chicago Bears released their list of inactives for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, and officially announced quarterback Jay Cutler as the starter.
Despite the inaction of Congress, with respect to their overspending and their reluctance to deal with the fiscal cliff, the Fed's recent move may actually help to improve the economy.
Senator Levin Slams Department of Justice 's Inaction Against Goldman Sachs.
Dublin police detectives say the case regarding a bomb threat made to several school buildings on November 26 has been made inactive because all leads have been exhausted at this time.
The Vikings, who have two injured safeties on their inactive list.
Estate Tax Inaction Will Hurt Farmers and More.
New week, same story: Ginn , Jacobs inactive.
Linebacker Mark Herzlich is inactive with an ankle injury.
Ginn , Jacobs inactive for 49ers vs Packers.

In science:

Inactive stars (of dM type) have sys tematically higher space velocities, characteristic of thick disk.
Age-Rotation-Activity Relations for M Dwarf Stars Based on ASAS Photometric Data
Both the CET values and the operators can move freely (by means of mutations) between the “class of active elements” and the “class of inactive elements”.
Epigenetic Tracking, a Method to Generate Arbitrary Shapes By Using Evolutionary-Developmental Techniques
This places a firm lower limit on the nebula temperature and forces inactive regions of the disk to assume an isothermal vertical structure.
Ice Lines, Planetesimal Composition and Solid Surface Density in the Solar Nebula
Annuli with an inactive midplane would have a lower column-averaged value of α, which could slow or stop the movement of mass from the inner solar nebula to the giant planet-forming region.
Ice Lines, Planetesimal Composition and Solid Surface Density in the Solar Nebula
Eq. (5): In regions where λ ≪ ∆r, the first term on the right hand side of Eq. (8) dominates, and λ2 = λ, i.e. the limiter is inactive.
The evolution of planetary nebulae. V. The diffuse X-ray emission