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

Synonyms & Antonyms for dormant



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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 In April 2018, when North Korea suspended nuclear and ICBM tests ahead of now-dormant diplomacy with the Trump administration, Kim said North Korea didn’t need to test intermediate-range missiles any longer as well. Hyung-jin Kim, USA TODAY, 1 Feb. 2022 Some rainfall and snow has boosted prospects for the now-dormant plants. Michael Hirtzer, Fortune, 1 Feb. 2022 There was an epochal tint to Guns N’ Roses’ dormant period, a decades-long estrangement that outlasted two-term presidents, the Benedict papacy and a wholesale reappropriation of the band itself. Nathan Rizzo | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 29 July 2021 Many homes have rooftop water tanks that require now-dormant electric pumps to fill. Washington Post, 17 May 2021 The blooms will last until mid-spring, right before your plant enters its dormant period. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, 21 Apr. 2021 Their 2019 testimony, which contradicted Trump’s rosy vision of relations with Iran, attracted scrutiny on the then-president’s now-dormant Twitter page. Lucien Bruggeman, ABC News, 14 Apr. 2021 The park is named after 10,457-foot Lassen Peak, a now-dormant volcano that last erupted from 1914 to 1917. Emily Pennington, Travel + Leisure, 30 Mar. 2021 After a dormant period of up to two weeks, the malware will attempt to resolve a subdomain of avsvmcloud[.]com. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 14 Dec. 2020 See More

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.

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

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Time Traveler for dormant

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The first known use of dormant was circa 1500

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dormant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for dormant


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

Kids Definition of dormant

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

More from Merriam-Webster on dormant

Nglish: Translation of dormant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dormant for Arabic Speakers


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