- The definition of dormant is someone or something inactive, sleeping or quiet.
An example of dormant is a volcano that isn't currently erupting.
- as if asleep; quiet; still
- inoperative; inactive
- torpid in winter; in a state of suspended animation
- live, but not actively growing
- Heraldry lying down in a sleeping position: a lion dormant
Origin of dormantMiddle English ; from Old French present participle of dormir ; from Late Latin dormire ; from Indo-European base an unverified form dre-, to sleep from source Sanskrit ni-dra, sleep
- Not awake; asleep: “[He] lay dormant on the scruffy couch, his mouth open, reading glasses slumped on his swollen nostrils” (Steven Heighton).
- Present but not active or manifest though capable of becoming so: “a harrowing experience which &ellipsis; lay dormant but still menacing” (Charles Jackson). See Synonyms at inactive.
- Temporarily inactive: a dormant volcano.
- Being in a condition of biological rest or inactivity characterized by cessation of growth or development and the suspension of many metabolic processes: a dormant bud; a dormant bacterium.
Origin of dormantMiddle English, from Old French, from present participle of dormir, to sleep, from Latin dormīre.
- Inactive, sleeping, asleep, suspended.
- Grass goes dormant during the winter, waiting for spring before it grows again.
- The bank account was dormant; there had been no transactions in months.
- This volcano is dormant but not extinct.
- (heraldry) In a sleeping posture; distinguished from couchant.
- a lion dormant
From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin dormiēns, present participle of dormiō (“I sleep”).