- present but invisible or inactive; lying hidden and undeveloped within a person or thing, as a quality, power, or talent
- 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
Origin of latentClassical Latin latens, present participle of latere, to lie hidden, lurk from Indo-European an unverified form l?idh- from base an unverified form l?-, to be hidden from source Old Norse l?mr, deception, Classical Greek l?th?, forgetfulness, lanthanein, to be hidden