stag·​nant | \ ˈstag-nənt How to pronounce stagnant (audio) \

Definition of stagnant

1a(1) : not flowing in a current or stream stagnant water
(2) : without inflow and outflow a stagnant pool
b : stale long disuse had made the air stagnant and foul— Bram Stoker
2 : not advancing or developing a stagnant economy

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Other Words from stagnant

stagnancy \ ˈstag-​nən(t)-​sē How to pronounce stagnant (audio) \ noun
stagnantly adverb

Examples of stagnant in a Sentence

… many people who make their living in academia are reasonably well insulated from financial devastation. For most tenured faculty, the worst they are likely to experience is stagnant pay and deferred retirement. — Andrew Delbanco, The New York Review of Books, 14 May 2009 "For adults, entertainment needs to be relevant to their life." Chen points to the stagnant US comic book industry as an example of irrelevance. "I don't want to see video games become like American superhero comics," he admits. "American comics live and die based on a very niche audience. In Japan, comics are a national art form." — Sid Shuman, Gamepro, May 2009 The blue-green algae blooms can occur in both freshwater and saltwater environments, but are most commonly found in stagnant bodies of water enriched by runoff, Paerl said. Public health officials in the southeastern United States are beginning to monitor water supplies for some of the toxins. — Bridget M. Kuehn, Journal of the American Medical Association, 25 May 2005
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Recent Examples on the Web Yet worker and leadership demographics are still stagnant, companies are blocking unions, and harm is increasing. Time, 1 Oct. 2021 Add in short supply, rising rents and stagnant incomes and experts say renters face an even tighter affordable housing market and potentially more homelessness and economic insecurity. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 7 Aug. 2021 Movie theater attendance was stagnant before the pandemic, but multiplexes have long been key drivers of foot traffic to shopping centers and malls that now compete with ascendant online retail giants such as Amazon. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 19 July 2021 Minnesota Public Radio reports the state’s COVID-19 vaccination rate has been stagnant in recent weeks, at about two-thirds of residents 16 and older with at least one vaccine dose. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 12 July 2021 Vaccination rates in the city have been largely stagnant since July, hovering around 4,000 to 5,000 shots administered per day. Dan Petrella,, 4 Oct. 2021 In the very unlikely event Birmingham’s annual budget ($455 million in FY22) remains stagnant for three decades, the $90 million represents less than 1 percent of overall spending. Roy S. Johnson |, al, 3 Oct. 2021 Although rising wages are a good thing for low-wage workers who have struggled with stagnant compensation while corporate profits have soared, low-wage growth could signal that inflation isn't as transitory as the Fed might like. Moira Ritter, CNN, 1 Oct. 2021 The looming public health crisis associated with stagnant vaccination levels may soon present corporate leadership with difficult decisions regarding how far to engage in the vaccine mandate debate on the grounds of social responsibility. Michael Peregrine, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stagnant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of stagnant

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for stagnant

see stagnate

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Time Traveler for stagnant

Time Traveler

The first known use of stagnant was in 1610

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Statistics for stagnant

Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stagnant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for stagnant



English Language Learners Definition of stagnant

: not flowing
: not active, changing, or progressing


stag·​nant | \ ˈstag-nənt How to pronounce stagnant (audio) \

Kids Definition of stagnant

1 : not flowing a stagnant pool
2 : not active or brisk : dull stagnant business


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