natant

adjective
na·​tant | \ ˈnā-tᵊnt How to pronounce natant (audio) \

Definition of natant

: swimming or floating in water natant decapods

Going Swimmingly With Natant

Natant and the smattering of other words birthed in the waters of Latin natare, meaning "to swim," can sound overly formal in many contexts. Rather than use the word natatorium, for example, we're more likely to refer simply to an indoor swimming pool. Similarly, instead of complimenting a friend's skills in natation, you're probably more apt to tell her she's a good swimmer. The common German-derived word swimming suits most of us just fine. Science, though, often prefers Latin, which is why you're most likely to encounter natare words in scientific contexts.

First Known Use of natant

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for natant

Middle English natand, from Latin natant-, natans, present participle of natare to swim; akin to Latin nare to swim; akin to Greek nein, nēchein to swim, Sanskrit snāti he bathes

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About natant

Time Traveler for natant

Time Traveler

The first known use of natant was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About natant

Statistics for natant

Cite this Entry

“Natant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natant. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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