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adjective dor·mant \ˈdȯr-mənt\

Simple Definition of dormant

  • : not doing anything at this time : not active but able to become active

Full Definition of dormant

  1. 1 :  represented on a coat of arms in a lying position with the head on the forepaws

  2. 2 :  marked by a suspension of activity: as a :  temporarily devoid of external activity <a dormant volcano> b :  temporarily in abeyance yet capable of being activated

  3. 3 a :  asleep, inactive b :  having the faculties suspended :  sluggish c :  having biological activity suspended: as (1) :  being in a state of suspended animation (2) :  not actively growing but protected (as by bud scales) from the environment —used of plant parts

  4. 4 :  associated with, carried out, or applied during a period of dormancy <dormant grafting>

Examples of dormant

  1. The seeds will remain dormant until the spring.

  2. Her emotions have lain dormant for many years.

Origin of dormant

Middle English, fixed, stationary, from Anglo-French, from present participle of dormir to sleep, from Latin dormire; akin to Sanskrit drāti he sleeps

First Known Use: circa 1500

Synonym Discussion of dormant

latent, dormant, quiescent, potential mean not now showing signs of activity or existence. latent applies to a power or quality that has not yet come forth but may emerge and develop <a latent desire for success>. dormant suggests the inactivity of something (as a feeling or power) as though sleeping <their passion had lain dormant>. quiescent suggests a usually temporary cessation of activity <the disease was quiescent>. potential applies to what does not yet have existence or effect but is likely soon to have <a potential disaster>.

Other Heraldry Terms

Rhymes with dormant

DORMANT Defined for Kids


adjective dor·mant \ˈdȯr-mənt\

Definition of dormant

  1. :  not active for the time being <The volcano is dormant.>

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February 13, 2016

a trying or distressing experience

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