Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near latent

Cite this Entry

“Latent.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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