emer·​gent | \ i-ˈmər-jənt How to pronounce emergent (audio) \

Definition of emergent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : arising unexpectedly
b : calling for prompt action : urgent emergent danger
2a : rising out of or as if out of a fluid emergent coastal islands
b : rooted in shallow water and having most of its vegetative growth above water an emergent plant
3 : arising as a natural or logical consequence
4 : newly formed or prominent emergent nations



Definition of emergent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something emergent
2a : a tree that rises above the surrounding forest
b : an emergent plant

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Examples of emergent in a Sentence

Adjective since it was not seen as an emergent problem, it was continually put off
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective High-stress, high intensity situations don’t convert big groups of people into emergent, calculating networks. Adam Rogers, Wired, "What the Science of Animal Networks Reveals About Protests," 31 July 2020 Ramirez represents an emergent activist vanguard forged in the public health crisis and economic recession that seeks to make inroads in shifting the balance of power in the city. Francisco Pérez, The New Republic, "The End of Housing As We Know It," 31 July 2020 Bright’s agency works to guard against pandemics and emergent infectious diseases and is working to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus. Colleen Long, The Denver Post, "Whistleblower: U.S. failed to prepare, sought quick virus fix," 5 May 2020 Sicular notes that while major heart attacks often require emergent intervention, minor ones can often be managed with medication. Stefanie Gordon, Woman's Day, "Is It a Heart Attack or Anxiety Attack? Here's What You Need to Know," 7 Feb. 2020 When adequate testing capability is established, consider screening patients by laboratory testing before proceeding with a non-emergent or elective procedure. The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Restarting elective procedures at hospitals, surgical centers in Oregon on May 1: Read the state guidelines," 29 Apr. 2020 The best timing to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent the summer weeds such as crabgrass and sand burs was about March 1. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Calvin Finch: Your guide to shade- and drought-tolerant groundcovers to replace your San Antonio lawn grass," 14 May 2020 Avigan is approved in Japan as a treatment for novel or re-emergent influenza and has previously also been used to treat Ebola patients in Guinea. Bloomberg.com, "Gilead’s Drug Leads Global Race for Coronavirus Treatment," 7 May 2020 In other words, what non-emergent or non-life-sustaining medical care can be gradually restored without drawing significant resources away from the Covid-19 effort? Arthur Caplan, STAT, "Are infertility treatments ‘essential’? How to ethically determine what kind of care must go on amid Covid-19," 30 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Taylor said a pre-emergent isn’t an option in public lands, but that spot treating stands will help keep it in check. Debra Utacia Krol, azcentral, "It may look like a wildflower, but 'stinknet' is a menace to native plants and people," 26 Mar. 2020 In the spring, apply the pre-emergents for crabgrass, grassburs and other summer grassy annuals about two weeks prior to the average date of your last killing freeze for your part of the state, with a follow-up treatment 90 days later. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, "Star jasmine death mystery: could it be the roots?," 6 Sep. 2019 By then the pre-emergent will be gone from the soil. Neil Sperry, San Antonio Express-News, "No garden invader is more difficult to eliminate than bamboo," 15 June 2018 Apply a pre-emergent, like Preen, around the bushes to keep down the weeds until mulch is reapplied in late May. Hot temperatures will require a regular watering program and Kentucky rain is never enough. Janet Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Roses are easy - if done right. Here are foolproof tips to follow for your Kentucky garden," 23 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of emergent


1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1620, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for emergent


Middle English, from Latin emergent-, emergens, present participle of emergere

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Time Traveler for emergent

Time Traveler

The first known use of emergent was in 1593

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Statistics for emergent

Last Updated

12 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Emergent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emergent. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for emergent


emer·​gent | \ i-ˈmər-jənt How to pronounce emergent (audio) \

Medical Definition of emergent

: calling for prompt or urgent action an emergent condition in a hemophiliac

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More from Merriam-Webster on emergent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for emergent

Spanish Central: Translation of emergent

Nglish: Translation of emergent for Spanish Speakers

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