Inane vs insane

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Inane and insane are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables inane and insane, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Inane is an adjective that means silly, inconsequential, insignificant, ridiculous. Something that is inane is not worthy of consideration. The word inane is derived from the Latin word, inanis, which means empty or worthless. The noun form is inanity.

Insane means mentally ill, mad, crazy, or incompetent. Insane has a legal definition, but it is also used to mean someone who has been driven to distraction or is proposing something ridiculous. The word insane is derived from the Latin word, insanus, which means mad or crazy. The noun form is insanity.


Despite its monotony, its inane drama, the slow pace of the day-to-day boiled down to six hours a week of entertainment, still…we watch. (Independent)

That perspective has been disrespected by the righteous crowd that boils it down to the inane … “if you think it’s OK to call the team Indians, you’re a racist.” (Canton Repository)

‘The market is insane’: Many voters fear home ownership is out of reach for young Australians (Sydney Morning Herald)

“This is really getting insane at this point,” he said during his morning press briefing. (Staten Island Advance)

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