: swimming or floating in water
Did You Know?
Natant and the smattering of other words birthed in the waters of Latin natare, meaning "to swim," can sound overly formal in many contexts. Rather than use the word natatorium, for example, we're more likely to refer simply to an indoor swimming pool. Similarly, instead of complimenting a friend's skills in natation, you're probably more apt to tell her she's a good swimmer. The common German-derived word swimming suits most of us just fine. Science, though, often prefers Latin, which is why you're most likely to encounter natare words in scientific contexts.
The pond was quiet, though occasionally a fish would rise to make a little splash among the natant lily pads.
"The life cycle of spiny lobsters consists of two major phases: a lengthy planktonic larval phase that develops in oceanic water, and a benthic phase that begins when the natant post-larvae … settle onto some benthic habitat." — Patricia Briones-Fourzán and Enrique Lozano-Álvarez, in Lobsters: Biology, Management, Aquaculture and Fisheries, 2013
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Unscramble the letters to create an adjective that can mean "capable of floating" or "cheerful": YNUTOAB.VIEW THE ANSWER
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