dormant

adjective
dor·​mant | \ ˈdȯr-mənt How to pronounce dormant (audio) \

Definition of dormant

1 heraldry : represented on a coat of arms in a lying position with the head on the forepaws
2 : marked by a suspension of activity: such as
a : temporarily devoid of external activity a dormant volcano
b : temporarily in abeyance yet capable of being activated seeds will remain dormant until spring reawaken her dormant emotions
3a : asleep, inactive dormant creatures
b : having the faculties suspended : sluggish
c : having biological activity suspended: such as
(1) : being in a state of suspended animation
(2) botany : not actively growing but protected (as by bud scales) from the environment used of plant parts
4 : associated with, carried out, or applied during a period of dormancy dormant grafting

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for dormant

Synonyms

asleep, dozing, napping, resting, sleeping, slumbering

Antonyms

awake, sleepless, wakeful, wide-awake

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for 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 (such 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

Examples of dormant in a Sentence

The seeds will remain dormant until the spring. Her emotions have lain dormant for many years.

Recent Examples on the Web

Milkweed can also survive through the winter by going dormant. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This $15 Plant From Amazon Will Turn Your Backyard Into a Monarch Butterfly Paradise," 30 Apr. 2019 Both social media pages appeared dormant, but Lukashev and his colleagues may not be resting easy. Raphael Satter, BostonGlobe.com, "Long-hidden hackers unmasked by special counsel investigation," 13 July 2018 Both social media pages appeared dormant, but Lukashev and his colleagues may not be resting easy. Raphael Satter, chicagotribune.com, "Elusive Russian hackers unmasked by U.S. special counsel," 13 July 2018 Convention Hall, which often sat dormant, was hosting top talent. Asbury Park Press, "Read more from this Project," 15 June 2018 The offense has fallen dormant, outscored 31-17 and batting just .178 (46 for 259). Maria Torres, kansascity, "Royals lose again to A's and finish seven-game road trip 1-6," 10 June 2018 The board was created long ago, but sat dormant for years. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora may do some trimming to Tree Board," 7 May 2018 Some viruses can chill in the host cells for a period, laying dormant. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Herpes Is Kind of Beautiful, On the Molecular Level," 6 Apr. 2018 The building—which sat dormant for ten years after the failure of the federal levees in 2005—is a Beaux Arts beauty dating back to 1918, and it’s now home to the Louisiana Philharmonic. Paul Oswell, Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Things To Do In New Orleans," 4 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dormant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dormant

circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dormant

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dormant

Statistics for dormant

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dormant

The first known use of dormant was circa 1500

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dormant

dormant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dormant

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

dormant

adjective
dor·​mant | \ ˈdȯr-mənt How to pronounce dormant (audio) \

Kids Definition of dormant

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dormant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dormant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dormant

Spanish Central: Translation of dormant

Nglish: Translation of dormant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dormant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dormant

What made you want to look up dormant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!