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

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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

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Time Traveler for latent

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Latent.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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Dictionary: Definition of latent

Medical Dictionary: Definition of latent

Nglish: Translation of latent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of latent for Arabic Speakers

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