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 Meanwhile, newspapers begin to print, in Mobile (Centinel, 1811; Gazette, 1812) and Huntsville (Alabama Republican, 1816). 1812-1815 The War of 1812 pits the U.S. against Great Britain, with far-reaching consequences for the nascent Alabama. al, "The story of us: Alabama history 10,000 BC to now," 28 Nov. 2019 At the time, India’s digital payments ecosystem was nascent and the fledgling company’s direct competitors were only a couple of other homegrown brands. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Can Paytm make every cent of its $1 billion funding round really count?," 25 Nov. 2019 Cannabis legalization has opened an opportunity for many entrepreneurs and investors, and these nascent years of above board cannabis sales have spurred a lot of ideas seeking to capitalize on legal weed. Rudy Sanchez,, "Why cannabis consumption lounges have failed to take off," 21 Nov. 2019 San Francisco’s wastewater recycling efforts are still nascent, Kothari said. Dominic Fracassa,, "From toilets to taps: SF tests new water recycling program," 20 Nov. 2019 In 1980, the younger Koch ran as the vice-presidential nominee for the nascent Libertarian Party. Adam Eichen, The New Republic, "How David Koch’s 1980 Fantasy Became America’s Current Reality," 27 Aug. 2019 Li was born in 1928 in Sichuan, to a family that had deep personal ties to core members of the then nascent Chinese Communist Party. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "The most hated figure of the Tiananmen crackdown has died," 23 July 2019 But investors should keep an eye on the market, which is still nascent: the evolution of the assets and their accounting is... Mike Bird, WSJ, "China’s Lending Upswing Will Fuel Hybrid Bond Boom," 15 Apr. 2019 That’s a relief for shareholders who had feared the turmoil would derail Burberry’s nascent turnaround under new designer Riccardo Tisci. Washington Post, "Burberry Needs a Revolution," 14 Nov. 2019

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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Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Nascent.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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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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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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