ETYM Latin animatus, p. p.
1. Relating to animal life as distinct from plant life.
2. Endowed with animal life as distinguished from plant life.
3. (Linguistics) Belonging to the class of nouns that denote living beings.
To give new life or energy to; SYN. recreate, reanimate, revive, quicken, vivify, revivify.
In grammar, referring to characteristics of living things. The principal parts of speech can all be animate: baby, mouse, and flea are animate nouns; cry, speak, and hope are animate verbs; friendly, stupid, and toothless are animate adjectives.
Animate words can be used metaphorically in inanimate contexts; for example, toothless in a phrase such as “a toothless argument”.