To see details on the word
please enable javascript.


She had to overcome her inertia and get back to work.
  a disposition to continue in the same manner — such as sit still and do nothing or continue moving in a particular direction
 Mark word for later review on this computer
inertia inertial inertially
When inertia is used in reference to human behavior and is not qualified, it tends to imply continuing to do nothing. In contrast, when it is used informally in reference to physical movement of inanimate objects , it tends to imply that the object will keep moving in a direction. However, it can take the opposite meaning in both instances.
Web Links:
(try right-click if popups are disabled)
Dictionary -®
Dictionary/Synonyms - Google®
Dictionary List - OneLook®
Wikipedia Article
  • She had to overcome her inertia and get back to work.
  • The rocket’s inertia will take it out of the solar system.
  • Yes, the vibration problem has been overcome by the exclusive Vibro-Dynamic-Lateral-Anti-Inertial Dampening system.
    Christopher Paul Curtis  --  The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963
  • His very smell like that of coming winter, a tomb, the heavy inertia of time.
    Anthony Doerr  --  All the Light We Cannot See

  • Show more
  • The revival of the educational spirit buried in the inertia of summer had begun, at least for Mama Brown.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • ) This was a ritual, deeply rooted in the soil of inexplicable neurosis and materialistic urgency, which’ I have gone through many times since when vision and invention have flagged to the point of inertia, and both writing and reading have become burdensome to the spirit.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice
  • A stupid question; though for me such a life, with its inertia and pity, had its secret attractions.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Cat’s Eye
  • It didn’t occur to me then, though it certainly does now, that it was years since I’d roused myself from my stupor of misery and self-absorption; between anomie and trance, inertia and parenthesis and gnawing my own heart out, there were a lot of small, easy, everyday kindnesses I’d missed out on; and even the word kindness was like rising from unconsciousness into some hospital awareness of voices, and people, from a stream of digitized machines.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • For a few seconds the inertial forces held them flattened and squirming for breath, unable to move.
    Douglas Adams  --  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Ender had helped them with some techniques from gravity personal combat. many things had to be changed, but inertia in flight was a tool that could be used against the enemy as easily in nullo as in Earth gravity.
    Orson Scott Card  --  Ender’s Game

  • Show more again
  • Because on your side you have reason—oh, I know, it’s something no one really wants to have on his side—and against you, you have just a vague, fat, blind inertia.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • He thought with a kind of astonishment of the biological uselessness of pain and fear, the treachery of the human body which always freezes into inertia at exactly the moment when a special effort is needed.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • For, at our epoch, we no longer believe either in inertia or in immobility.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • Prince Andrew had grown thinner, paler, and more manly-looking, but what amazed and estranged Pierre till he got used to it were his inertia and a wrinkle on his brow indicating prolonged concentration on some one thought.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • Such tenants as it sheltered were half-bankrupt, existing, as it did, on the inertia of the momentum of the past.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • He hesitated, and I had the impression that he felt himself about to yield to a stealing tide of inertia; then, "Thank you-I’ll take it," he answered shortly.
    Edith Wharton  --  Ethan Frome
  • There is a great inertia about all military operations of any size.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • The night passed in this way, without the crew ever emerging from their usual inertia.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • Once I was off my feet, inertia took hold.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into Thin Air
  • I must beware of inertia.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Ishmael had hung on to it in part from sheer inertia, in part because driving it reminded him of his father.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars
  • What play of forces, inducing inertia, rendered departure undesirable?
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • It went of itself, like all such boards, by the mere force of inertia.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • Yossarian, blazing with rage and almost sobbing for revenge, hurled himself down into the crawlway and fought his way through against the dragging weight of gravity and inertia until he arrived at the main section and pulled himself up to the flight deck, to stand trembling behind McWatt in the pilot’s seat.
    Joseph Heller  --  Catch-22
  • He fusses over what to do, back and forth-call Leona or not call-until inertia catches up with him and his mind turns in on itself.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • First my inertia-and then my views.
    Agatha Christie  --  The ABC Murders
  • The house too seemed filled with familiar sounds, but mostly with inertia, a terrible procrastination as he gazed down the dim hall, thinking Why don’t she come on.
    William Faulkner  --  Light in August
  • Neither missiles nor jets equipped with modern radar and inertial guidance would think of homing on a radio beam.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon
  • He suspected that she was deceiving him with a matador, perhaps with an actor,—between the flattery of the court and the inertia of gout he could not quite make out who it was; at all events, it was clear that the singer was beginning to forget that he was one of the first men in the world.
    Thornton Wilder  --  The Bridge of San Luis Rey
  • Submarines had highly accurate inertial navigation systems able to fix their positions to within a few hundred yards from one second to another.
    Tom Clancy  --  The Hunt for Red October
  • Paul Stevenson, a blond, blue-eyed 24-year-old from Midland, Mich., who enlisted in the Army to escape the inertia of his hometown.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin’
  • I would willingly have gone oc spoiling his life through inertia—one has nothing to do, one belongs nowhere and becomes a public nuisance without realizing it.
    E.M. Forster  --  A Passage to India
  • I brought it back to the ship, charged it up, reprogrammed the inertia chips, and voild!
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • Just as in the history of the universe, so also in that of nations: emanation leads to dissolution, youth to age, birth to death, form-creative vitality to the dead weight of inertia.
    Joseph Campbell  --  The Hero With a Thousand Faces
  • Sometimes you make up your mind about something without knowing why, and your decision persists by the power of inertia.
    Milan Kundera  --  The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • We see that he had in him strong impulses both to be a saint and a profligate; and yet he could not, owing to some weakness or inertia, make the plunge into the untrammelled realms of space.
    Hermann Hesse  --  Steppenwolf
  • The city had us, prisoners of its beauty and inertia.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • There is always an inertia to be overcome in striking out a new line of conduct—not more in ourselves, it seems, than in circumscribing events, which appear as if leagued together to allow no novelties in the way of amelioration.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • The great difficulty was in suddenly overcoming the inertia of so large a mass, for once in motion, it was easy to cause the scow to skim the water with all the necessary speed.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • High-stepping horses or elaborately equipped motors waited to carry these ladies into vague metropolitan distances, whence they returned, still more wan from the weight of their sables, to be sucked back into the stifling inertia of the hotel routine.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • But to have any chance against War Admiral, Smith knew he was going to have to make the habitually pace-stalking Seabiscuit, who had to fight the inertia of a much blockier heavier body, into a rocket-fast breaker.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • He wouldbe sort of grand too, pulling in lonely state across the noon, rowinghimself right out ofnoon, up the long bright air like an apotheosis, mounting into a drowsing infinity where only he and the gull, the one terrificallymotionless, the other in a steadyand measured pull and recover that partook of inertia itself, the world punily beneath their shadows on the sun.
    William Faulkner  --  The Sound and the Fury
  • She could not determine whether she was checked by fear or him, or by inertia—by dislike of the emotional labor of the "scenes" which would be involved in asserting independence.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Main Street
  • She would have no light burning because she would be out of the house soon, and probably some mental descendant or kinsman of him or her who had told her once that light and moving air carried heat had also told her that the cost of electricity was not in the actual time the light burned but in the retroactive overcoming of primary inertia when the switch was snapped: that that was what showed on the meter.
    William Faulkner  --  Absalom, Absalom!
  • …saying something, because she believed that it was good for her throat, and that by keeping the blood there in circulation it would make less frequent the chokings and other pains to which she was liable; besides, in the life of complete inertia which she led she attached to the least of her sensations an extraordinary importance, endowed them with a Protean ubiquity which made it difficult for her to keep them secret, and, failing a confidant to whom she might communicate them,…
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann’s Way
  • The inertia of psychological patterns.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • There was nothing she could do at it, yet she felt it might redeem her a little from inertia.
    Thomas Pynchon  --  The Crying of Lot 49
  • Such inertia is not canceled in an instant, but I felt the body responses pass as they should.
    Roger Zelazny  --  My Name is Legion
  • Partly it was mission, partly inertia, partly adventure, partly a way of tracing the possibilities.
    Tim O’Brien  --  Going After Cacciato
Search for samples from other sources:
(try right-click if popups are disabled)
Interest -- Source
General -- Google News®
General -- Time® Magazine
General -- Twitter®
Associated words [difficulty]:   inertia [4]
     If popups are enabled: Search in OneLook®   If Flash® is also enabled: Search in Visuwords®
Most commonly used in these subjects:   Engineering, Logic & Reasoning, Science
Home . . . enhancing vocabulary while reading