na·scent | \ ˈna-sᵊnt , ˈnā- \

Definition of nascent 

: coming or having recently come into existence a nascent middle class her nascent singing career

Keep scrolling for more

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 anitiquity, 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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Moore mentioned that health care clinics and hospitals could become more community oriented—a trend that’s in its nascent stages. Diana Budds, Curbed, "It’s time to take back third places," 31 May 2018 At this point, the 2018 offensive line is in the nascent stages of development. Matt Zenitz,, "Alabama practice report: WR missing, DB back practicing," 9 Apr. 2018 Still, Keiser cautioned that the county was in the nascent stages of the investigation and that no definitive conclusions could be made until more tests were conducted. Nick Powell, Houston Chronicle, "Two Coastal Health administrators resign amid probe into disease exposure," 30 Mar. 2018 His team’s ascension from Indy Lights into the Verizon IndyCar Series was only in its nascent stages, yet the calls kept coming. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "After years of being stuck in neutral, IndyCar 'at beginning of a resurgence'," 8 Mar. 2018 The nascent Socialist Party of America, founded in 1901, seemed to be different. Olivia Campbell, Smithsonian, "The Historical Struggle to Rid Socialism of Sexism," 12 July 2018 President Trump would then, with some relief, seize the opportunity to agree with the Kremlin—by asserting the dangers of the new nascent nuclear arms race. Evelyn Farkas, Time, "How Trump Could Actually Make the Summit with Putin a Success," 9 July 2018 For many, its depiction of an ordinary-yet-extraordinary nuclear family defending itself against its enemies carried an unmistakable resonance in the wake of 9/11 and the nascent war on terror. Justin Chang,, "How the dazzling, overstuffed ‘Incredibles 2’ holds up a cracked mirror to present-day reality," 4 July 2018 While this trio of space tycoons currently dominate the nascent industry, more companies will soon join the party. Justin Bachman,, "SpaceX, other private launches mess with airline schedules," 2 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nascent

Listen to Our Podcast about nascent

Dictionary Entries near nascent








Statistics for nascent

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nascent

The first known use of nascent was circa 1624

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nascent



English Language Learners Definition of nascent

: beginning to exist : recently formed or developed


na·scent | \ ˈnas-ᵊnt , ˈnās- \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nascent

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


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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