stag·​nant | \ ˈstag-nənt How to pronounce stagnant (audio) \

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 How to pronounce stagnant (audio) \ 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 The phenomenon — which describes a period of high inflation and stagnant economic growth — was a nightmare for policymakers, leaving them with few options to rein in runaway prices without damaging the economy. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 19 Sep. 2021 The Eagles moved the ball well in the first half but were stagnant offensively after the break., 18 Sep. 2021 But be careful about making investment decisions based on what happened in that era—marked by a combination of stagnant growth and higher inflation. Mark Hulbert, WSJ, 4 Sep. 2021 The latest data shows that the pace of vaccinations in Illinois, after a brief spike earlier this month, has been stagnant this past week. Joe Mahr,, 27 Aug. 2021 The AfD has been stagnant at around 10 percent of the vote. New York Times, 18 Aug. 2021 The Magic City’s population has been mostly stagnant - no growth or major loss - since 2010. Ramsey Archibald |, al, 13 Aug. 2021 The proportion of vulnerable people is stagnant, yet still too high. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 22 July 2021 Certainly, Reserve Bank Australia Governor Philip Lowe has his own challenges balancing booming real estate values and stagnant wages. William Pesek, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for stagnant

Time Traveler

The first known use of stagnant was in 1610

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Statistics for stagnant

Last Updated

24 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stagnant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce stagnant (audio) \

Kids Definition of stagnant

1 : not flowing a stagnant pool
2 : not active or brisk : dull stagnant business


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