Synonym Chooser

How is the word dormant distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of dormant are latent, potential, and quiescent. While all these words mean "not now showing signs of activity or existence," dormant suggests the inactivity of something (such as a feeling or power) as though sleeping.

their passion had lain dormant

Where would latent be a reasonable alternative to dormant?

The words latent and dormant are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, latent applies to a power or quality that has not yet come forth but may emerge and develop.

a latent desire for success

When is it sensible to use potential instead of dormant?

The synonyms potential and dormant are sometimes interchangeable, but potential applies to what does not yet have existence or effect but is likely soon to have.

a potential disaster

When can quiescent be used instead of dormant?

In some situations, the words quiescent and dormant are roughly equivalent. However, quiescent suggests a usually temporary cessation of activity.

the disease was quiescent

Thesaurus Entries Near dormant

Cite this Entry

“Dormant.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

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