stag·​nate ˈstag-ˌnāt How to pronounce stagnate (audio)
stagnated; stagnating

intransitive verb

: to become or remain stagnant

Examples of stagnate in a Sentence

a puddle of stagnating water
Recent Examples on the Web Burgum has stagnated in early-state polls in recent months and failed to qualify for the third GOP presidential primary debate, hosted by NBC News on Wednesday. Alex Tabet, NBC News, 12 Nov. 2023 The country’s economy has stagnated this year, registering flat growth during 2023. Byryan Hogg, Fortune, 31 Oct. 2023 According to the Federal Reserve, the real wages of black and Hispanic respondents in the survey stagnated. Jenny Goldsberry, Washington Examiner, 19 Oct. 2023 Cheaper goods helped households cope with stagnating incomes while padding corporate coffers. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, 14 Nov. 2023 The salary cap has stagnated since COVID-19 struck the gate-dependent NHL, rising only $2 million from 2019-20 to $83.5 million this season. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 30 Oct. 2023 There is the increasing possibility that the Chinese economy may stagnate, as growth stalls. Yasheng Huang, Foreign Affairs, 25 Sep. 2023 Wildfires have been increasing in size, frequency and intensity in recent years -- at the same time that progress in air quality improvement has stagnated across much of the U.S., with some regions reporting rising levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), the study found. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 20 Sep. 2023 As the Axios Markets newsletter pointed out, economists have been surprised after years and years of stagnating productivity, including two straight quarters of decline in 2022, but Starbucks’ blowout quarter is an early sign that this won’t be business as usual. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stagnate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin stagnatus, past participle of stagnare, from stagnum body of standing water

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stagnate was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near stagnate

Cite this Entry

“Stagnate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


stag·​nate ˈstag-ˌnāt How to pronounce stagnate (audio)
stagnated; stagnating
: to be or become stagnant
stagnation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on stagnate

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