Definition of inanition in US English:



  • 1Exhaustion caused by lack of nourishment.

    • ‘Despite surgical resection and chemotherapy, the patient's condition deteriorated during the next month and he died of inanition and cardiac failure.’
    • ‘Asthma, cancer, wasting, hemorrhage, inanition, and death have been linked to mold exposure since ancient times.’
    extreme tiredness, overtiredness, fatigue, weariness, lack of energy, enervation, debilitation, debility, faintness, prostration, enfeeblement, lassitude
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    1. 1.1 Lack of mental or spiritual vigor and enthusiasm.
      ‘she was thinking that old age bred inanition’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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