- present but invisible or inactive; lying hidden and undeveloped within a person or thing, as a quality or power
- Biol. dormant but capable of normal development under the best conditions: said of buds, spores, cocoons, etc.
- Psychol. unconsciously but not actively so: a latent homosexual
L latens, prp. of latere, to lie hidden, lurk < IE *lāidh- < base *lā-, to be hidden > ON lōmr, deception, Gr lēthē, forgetfulness, lanthanein, to be hidden
a fingerprint found on an object as at the scene of a crime