Definition of inanition in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Exhaustion caused by lack of nourishment.

    ‘the members of the rear party died of inanition’
    • ‘Asthma, cancer, wasting, hemorrhage, inanition, and death have been linked to mold exposure since ancient times.’
    • ‘Despite surgical resection and chemotherapy, the patient's condition deteriorated during the next month and he died of inanition and cardiac failure.’
    extreme tiredness, overtiredness, fatigue, weariness, lack of energy, enervation, debilitation, debility, faintness, prostration, enfeeblement, lassitude
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    1. 1.1Lack of mental or spiritual vigour and enthusiasm.
      ‘she was thinking that old age bred inanition’
      • ‘For the young lovers, Pelléas and Mélisande, the only ‘happiness’ is acquiescence in their destiny - what happens to them; and acquiescence becomes identified with inanition.’
      • ‘At the office, he has perfected the art of doing nothing - and he has become such a virtuoso that his colleagues recognize in his inanition the sign of a truly great worker.’
      • ‘Even without, or before, revolution or foreign invasion, states can decline of their own inanition.’
      • ‘Third terms slide towards inanition, or degrade into corruption and chaos.’
      • ‘I would not accept a proposition that even if a Plaintiff's case has collapsed of its inanition or for some reason or other, judgment should nevertheless be given to him on the ground that a defence set up by the opponent has also collapsed.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin inanitio(n-), from Latin inanire make empty, from inanis empty, vain.