Synonyms & Antonyms of latent

not being in a state of use, activity, or employment
  • he has a latent talent for acting that he hasn't had a chance to express yet

Synonyms for latent

Words Related to latent

Phrases Synonymous with latent

Near Antonyms for latent

Antonyms for latent

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About latent

How is the word latent distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of latent are dormant, potential, and quiescent. While all these words mean "not now showing signs of activity or existence," latent applies to a power or quality that has not yet come forth but may emerge and develop.

a latent desire for success

Where would dormant be a reasonable alternative to latent?

While the synonyms dormant and latent are close in meaning, dormant suggests the inactivity of something (such as a feeling or power) as though sleeping.

their passion had lain dormant

When can potential be used instead of latent?

While in some cases nearly identical to latent, potential applies to what does not yet have existence or effect but is likely soon to have.

a potential disaster

When would quiescent be a good substitute for latent?

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

the disease was quiescent

Learn More About latent

Time Traveler for latent

Time Traveler

The first known use of latent was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near latent




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Latent.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on latent

Nglish: Translation of latent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of latent for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!