Definition of quiescent
- quiescent gallstones
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
a group of quiescent loungers recovering from the Thanksgiving feast
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quiescent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Quiescent won't cause you any pain, and neither will its synonyms "latent," "dormant," and "potential," at least not immediately. All four words mean "not now showing signs of activity or existence." "Latent" usually applies to something that has not yet come forth but may emerge and develop, as in "a latent desire for success." "Dormant" implies a state of inactivity similar to sleep, as in "their passions lay dormant." "Potential" applies to what may or may not come to be. "A potential disaster" is a typical example. "Quiescent," which traces to the Latin quiescere (meaning "to become quiet" or "to rest"), often suggests a temporary cessation of activity, as in "a quiescent disease" or "a summer resort quiescent in wintertime."
First Known Use: 1605See Words from the same year
: not active
medical : not now developing or causing symptoms
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