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 stagnancy (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

In that decade, prospective parents have struggled to build their careers in the wake of the recession, facing stagnant wages and soaring costs of living. Caitlin Gibson, The Denver Post, "The rise of the only child: How America is coming around to the idea of ‘just one’," 25 June 2019 Biggest idea for the economy: Tackling working-class poverty by fighting stagnant wages, offering skills training, and encouraging financial literacy. Quartz Staff, Quartz, "Meet all the Democratic candidates in the crowded 2020 race," 24 June 2019 The findings in the report place Arizona squarely in the center of a nation that’s been forced to grapple with the consequences of rising rents and stagnant wages. Alden Woods, azcentral, "You need to work 71 hours a week to afford a 2-bedroom home in Arizona, a new report says," 19 June 2019 Due to the effects of underemployment, stagnant wages, and rising costs of living, millions of Americans struggle to get by. Vincent Andrunas, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pairing up to fight hunger," 7 June 2019 Over the same period, wages for most Americans remained stagnant. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The State of American Trade Schools," 13 Mar. 2019 The hot weather and stagnant air was contributing to an excess of air pollution. Scott Dance,, "Maryland weather: 'Code red' heat alert in effect Saturday, with triple-digit heat index forecast in Baltimore," 28 June 2019 The hot, stagnant air means air quality declines and may impact sensitive groups. David Streit, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Heat is unrelenting through the weekend," 27 June 2019 Some believe that pain or inflammation in muscles or joints can be a result of stagnant energy. Samantha Lauriello,, "Kaley Cuoco Uses Painful Cupping and Scraping Therapies for Workout Recovery—Here’s What That Means," 27 June 2019

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

18 Jul 2019

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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on stagnant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stagnant

Spanish Central: Translation of stagnant

Nglish: Translation of stagnant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stagnant for Arabic Speakers

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