qui·​es·​cent | \ kwī-ˈe-sᵊnt How to pronounce quiescent (audio) , kwē- \

Definition of quiescent

1 : marked by inactivity or repose : tranquilly at rest
2 : causing no trouble or symptoms quiescent gallstones

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Other Words from quiescent

quiescently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for quiescent



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Choose the Right Synonym for quiescent

latent, dormant, quiescent, potential mean not now showing signs of activity or existence. latent applies to a power or quality that has not yet come forth but may emerge and develop. a latent desire for success dormant suggests the inactivity of something (such as a feeling or power) as though sleeping. their passion had lain dormant quiescent suggests a usually temporary cessation of activity. the disease was quiescent potential applies to what does not yet have existence or effect but is likely soon to have. a potential disaster

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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."

Examples of quiescent in a Sentence

a group of quiescent loungers recovering from the Thanksgiving feast
Recent Examples on the Web Foreign-exchange reserve figures ticked up slightly in July, but have been largely quiescent. Mike Bird, WSJ, "China Exports Are Booming and Trade Surplus Is Widening—Why Is the Yuan So Weak?," 7 Sep. 2020 For more than a decade, Anthony had been discovering new viruses, trying to understand which changes in their makeup transformed them from quiescent inhabitants of bats to ferocious threats to human beings. Gaia Squarci, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Virus Hunters," 10 Aug. 2020 Another implication is that quiescent black holes like this could be much more common than thought, suggesting there are many more to be discovered. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "Astronomers May Have Found the Closest Black Hole to Earth," 6 May 2020 Sunagawa’s group’s paper in Nature even includes a passage that speculates about inducing this quiescent state for astronauts going into deep space. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "Switch in Mouse Brain Induces a Deep Slumber Similar to Hibernation," 15 June 2020 Many Americans had forgotten about or remained unaware of the active but quiescent volcanoes of the Cascades, the mountainous spine snaking up the West Coast, said Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, a geophysicist at Western Washington University. Robin George Andrews, New York Times, "The Mount St. Helens Eruption Was the Volcanic Warning We Needed," 18 May 2020 And no wonder: With inflation quiescent, the Federal Reserve and most other central banks look unlikely to raise interest rates soon. WSJ, "Bond Funds Are Hotter Than Tesla," 7 Feb. 2020 Although astronomers have long known that any quasar will eventually become quiescent as its central black hole exhausts its feedstock of gas and dust, such objects are so immense in scale that the process should take tens of thousands of years. Shannon Hall, Scientific American, "Lights Out: Astronomers Illuminate the Mystery of Vanishing Quasars," 12 Dec. 2019 The Whitlam example suggests that there’s no need for the Crown to be so quiescent. David Fickling | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Queen Can Call Boris Johnson’s Latest Brexit Bluff," 10 Oct. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of quiescent

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quiescent

borrowed from Latin quiēscent-, quiēscens, present participle of quiēscere "to repose, fall asleep, rest, be quiet," inchoative derivative of a base quiē-, going back to Indo-European *kwi̯eh1- "have a rest" — more at quiet entry 1

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Time Traveler for quiescent

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The first known use of quiescent was in 1605

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Last Updated

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quiescent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quiescent. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for quiescent


How to pronounce quiescent (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of quiescent

formal : not active
medical : not now developing or causing symptoms


qui·​es·​cent | \ -ᵊnt How to pronounce quiescent (audio) \

Medical Definition of quiescent

1 : being in a state of arrest quiescent tuberculosis
2 : causing no symptoms quiescent gallstones

More from Merriam-Webster on quiescent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for quiescent

Britannica English: Translation of quiescent for Arabic Speakers

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