stag·​nant ˈstag-nənt How to pronounce stagnant (audio)
: not flowing in a current or stream
stagnant water
: without inflow and outflow
a stagnant pool
: stale
long disuse had made the air stagnant and foulBram Stoker
: not advancing or developing
a stagnant economy
stagnancy noun
stagnantly adverb

Example Sentences

… many people who make their living in academia are reasonably well insulated from financial devastation. For most tenured faculty, the worst they are likely to experience is stagnant pay and deferred retirement. Andrew Delbanco, The New York Review of Books, 14 May 2009 "For adults, entertainment needs to be relevant to their life." Chen points to the stagnant US comic book industry as an example of irrelevance. "I don't want to see video games become like American superhero comics," he admits. "American comics live and die based on a very niche audience. In Japan, comics are a national art form." Sid Shuman, Gamepro, May 2009 The blue-green algae blooms can occur in both freshwater and saltwater environments, but are most commonly found in stagnant bodies of water enriched by runoff, Paerl said. Public health officials in the southeastern United States are beginning to monitor water supplies for some of the toxins. Bridget M. Kuehn, Journal of the American Medical Association, 25 May 2005
Recent Examples on the Web Stagflation describes a period of high inflation and stagnant economic growth, which undermines people’s purchasing power. Emiko Jozuka, CNN, 9 Jan. 2023 And fears of 1970s-style stagflation — high inflation and stagnant economic growth — could become a reality. Steve Schifferes, Fortune, 3 Jan. 2023 This market shift toward more diversified revenue sources comes after stagnant subscriber growth across the industry. Diego Lasarte, Quartz, 7 Dec. 2022 Economists note that Britain has been cursed by stagnant growth since the financial crisis of 2009, a result of inadequate investment and slumping productivity. Mark Landler, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2022 Conflict sprang from a genuine debate over the distribution of resources that stagflation—the poisonous combination of runaway inflation and stagnant economic growth—made necessary. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, 31 Oct. 2022 When high inflation is combined with a period of stagnant growth in the economy, there’s pain felt across many industries. - Powering A Personal Wealth Movement, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 Yet despite making progress in certain aspects, the Texans' rebuild still has been far too stagnant to justify Caserio's job security if the franchise continues to flounder in 2023. Josh Criswell, Chron, 13 Jan. 2023 Wires hung from ceilings; puddles stood stagnant on the ground. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, 13 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stagnant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


see stagnate

First Known Use

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Time Traveler
The first known use of stagnant was in 1610

Dictionary Entries Near stagnant

Cite this Entry

“Stagnant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


stag·​nant ˈstag-nənt How to pronounce stagnant (audio)
: not flowing in a current or stream : motionless
: not active or brisk
stagnant business
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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