na·​scent ˈna-sᵊnt How to pronounce nascent (audio) ˈnā- How to pronounce nascent (audio)
: coming or having recently come into existence
a nascent middle class
her nascent singing career

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The Origin of Nascent

Nascent comes from nascens, the present participle of the Latin verb nasci, which means "to be born." It is related to words such as nation, native, nature, and innate.

Examples of nascent in a Sentence

In the mid-'60s, Toronto was home to Yorkville, a gathering spot for draft resisters, a petri dish for a nascent coffeehouse and rock scene similar to the one developing in New York's Greenwich Village. Mike Sager, Rolling Stone, 27 June 1996
It was almost 80 years ago that the Wright brothers from Ohio ventured to Kitty Hawk for the uplift its steady winds offered their nascent passion, airplanes. Robert R. Yandle, Popular Photography, March 1993
A few centuries late, when the nascent science of geology was gathering evidence for the earth's enormous antiquity, some advocates of biblical literalism revived this old argument for our entire planet. Stephen Jay Gould, Granta 16, Summer 1985
The actress is now focusing on her nascent singing career. one of the leading figures in the nascent civil-rights movement
Recent Examples on the Web Ed was a businessman of dignity, class and professionalism who ran a first-class operation and whose mentorship and tutelage fueled my career from its nascent stages through the ensuing decades. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, 15 Sep. 2023 Even with the threat of a shutdown on the horizon, McCarthy spent much of his week talking about his nascent impeachment inquiry into Biden. Marianna Sotomayor, Leigh Ann Caldwell, Amy B Wang, Jacqueline Alemany, The Washington Post, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Sep. 2023 Spotlight Photograph by Erin Baiano Dance In 1948, the nascent New York City Ballet found its footing, becoming the company-in-residence at City Center. The New Yorker, 15 Sep. 2023 But beware the idea that nascent technology can patch growing U.S. vulnerabilities on the cheap. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2023 Shortly after the report’s release, China’s nascent economic recovery lost steam and an already sluggish real estate market started to collapse. Claire Fu, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 One potential funding source is the nascent biodiversity-credit markets. Joshua Kirby, WSJ, 5 Sep. 2023 Poggi, the former coach at Gilman and St. Frances, isn’t trying to take things slow at the nascent program. C.j. Doon, Baltimore Sun, 1 Sep. 2023 Thailand’s nascent space program is increasing its satellite-building capacity. Sammy Westfall, Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nascent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin nascent-, nascens, present participle of nasci to be born — more at nation

First Known Use

circa 1624, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nascent was circa 1624


Dictionary Entries Near nascent

Cite this Entry

“Nascent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


na·​scent ˈnas-ᵊnt How to pronounce nascent (audio) ˈnās- How to pronounce nascent (audio)
: coming or having recently come into existence : beginning to develop
nascent polypeptide chains
: of, relating to, or being an atom or substance at the moment of its formation usually with the implication of greater reactivity than otherwise
nascent hydrogen

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