na·​scent | \ ˈna-sᵊnt How to pronounce nascent (audio) , ˈnā- How to pronounce nascent (audio) \

Definition of nascent

: 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 a relative newcomer to the collection of English words that derive from that Latin verb. In fact, when the word nascent was itself a newborn, in the first quarter of the 17th century, other "nasci" offspring were already respectably mature. "Nation," "native," and "nature" had been around since the 1300s; "innate" and "natal," since the 1400s. More recently, we picked up some French descendants of "nasci": "née" in the 1700s and "Renaissance" in the 1800s. Our newest "nasci" word? It may well be "perinatology," which was first used in the late 1960s to name the specialized branch of medicine concerned with childbirth.

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
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Recent Examples on the Web And just last month, the couple’s nascent firm was the lead investor in one of the most competitive tech deals in San Diego so far this year. Brittany Meiling, San Diego Union-Tribune, "This La Jolla couple is raising millions to invest in San Diego’s tech scene," 11 Sep. 2020 Priced at $1,399, the 5G Razr is $100 cheaper than its predecessor and also more affordable than the $1,449 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G, its only competition in this nascent class and pocketable size. Mark Gurman,, "Motorola's 5G Foldable Razr Adds Better Cameras and Processor, Costs Less," 9 Sep. 2020 This summer, as the pandemic, protests over racial injustice and the approaching election collided with the return of sports, Clay Travis’s nascent mini-media empire has morphed into the go-to platform for Republicans hoping to win over sports fans. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Man fatally shot in Prince George’s, police say," 5 Sep. 2020 Despite its popularity, industry experts think hard seltzer is still in its nascent form. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Americans are still obsessed with hard seltzer. What's the appeal and what's coming next?," 4 Sep. 2020 All four devices will also have 5G, though the sources say that some testers have reported that this feature hasn't improved their wireless data speeds much on current nascent 5G networks. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "New report details Apple’s plan for iPhones (and other gadgets) this year," 1 Sep. 2020 Economists say the wave of new coronavirus cases that swept the U.S. during July weakened the nascent economic recovery, even though nearly two million Americans joined the workforce. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Consumer Spending Rose More Slowly in July," 28 Aug. 2020 The turn of events comes nearly four months after the board had voted to not place the question of incorporation on the ballot for voters due to too many financial uncertainties caused by the then nascent COVID-19 pandemic. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Woodlands board OKs amended law enforcement services proposal with Montgomery County," 17 Aug. 2020 The New Orleans Pelicans are looking for a new coach to oversee the still nascent Zion Williamson era. Brett Martel, Star Tribune, "Pelicans fire Alvin Gentry after 5 seasons as team's coach," 15 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nascent.' 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 nascent

circa 1624, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nascent

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

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Time Traveler for nascent

Time Traveler

The first known use of nascent was circa 1624

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Statistics for nascent

Last Updated

16 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nascent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for nascent


How to pronounce nascent (audio) How to pronounce nascent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nascent

formal : beginning to exist : recently formed or developed


na·​scent | \ ˈnas-ᵊnt How to pronounce nascent (audio) , ˈnās- How to pronounce nascent (audio) \

Medical Definition of nascent

1 : coming or having recently come into existence : beginning to develop nascent polypeptide chains
2 : 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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