stag·​nant | \ˈstag-nənt \

Definition of stagnant 

1a(1) : not flowing in a current or stream stagnant water

(2) : without inflow and outflow a stagnant pool

b : stale long disuse had made the air stagnant and foul— Bram Stoker

2 : not advancing or developing a stagnant economy

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Other Words from stagnant

stagnancy \ˈstag-​nən(t)-​sē \ noun
stagnantly adverb

Examples of stagnant in a Sentence

… 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
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Recent Examples on the Web

In California last week, a high-pressure system kept the air in the region relatively stagnant, and smoke from the fire stuck around, sending the air quality plummeting. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Scientists fly through plumes of wildfire smoke to unravel its mysteries," 21 Nov. 2018 Sector leader Apple has managed to boost revenue despite stagnant unit sales in the past couple of years by raising prices. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "Can Foldable Phones Help Samsung Emulate Apple?," 7 Nov. 2018 In a crowded and stagnant VR market, that’s enough to make Focus an also-ran before most people even try it. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "HTC's standalone Vive Focus VR headset is coming to the U.S. for $600," 8 Nov. 2018 That's interesting because hydroelectricity and nuclear power power plant additions have been close-to-stagnant for decades. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Four maps show how electricity generation has changed in the US," 23 Sep. 2018 The purpose of the event was to draw attention to Connecticut’s stagnant economy under Democrats, but instead Osten slammed Foley over the role his private equity firm played in the closing of a Georgia textile mill. Neil Vigdor,, "Susan Bysiewicz And Ned Lamont Make Headway In Eastern Connecticut," 9 July 2018 Water that gets cloudy and has a foul stench has become stagnant and might be harmful to drink. Kirk Sides, Houston Chronicle, "Birdbaths offer cool dip and sip in summer heat," 5 June 2018 Where other companies become stagnant or get lost chasing trends, Supreme has always managed to break new ground while staying true to their own sensibility—which always includes the right amount of ridiculous. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Supreme's New Sunglasses Will Turn You Into a Walking Meme," 15 May 2018 Football is a brutal industry and Tottenham can’t afford to become stagnant because of sentiment., "FanView: A Mauricio Pochettino Move to Real Madrid Could Prove a Blessing in Disguise for Spurs," 25 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of stagnant

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

History and Etymology for stagnant

see stagnate

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Statistics for stagnant

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stagnant

The first known use of stagnant was in 1610

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More Definitions for stagnant



English Language Learners Definition of stagnant

: not flowing

: not active, changing, or progressing


stag·​nant | \ˈstag-nənt \

Kids Definition of stagnant

1 : not flowing a stagnant pool

2 : not active or brisk : dull stagnant business

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More from Merriam-Webster on stagnant

Spanish Central: Translation of stagnant

Nglish: Translation of stagnant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stagnant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stagnant

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