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dormant Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. adjective satellite in a condition of biological rest or suspended animation
    hibernating; torpid.
    • dormant buds
    • a hibernating bear
    • torpid frogs
  2. adjective (of e.g. volcanos) not erupting and not extinct
    • a dormant volcano
  3. adjective satellite lying with head on paws as if sleeping
  4. adjective satellite inactive but capable of becoming active
    • her feelings of affection are dormant but easily awakened

Dor"mant adjective
F., p. pr. of dormir to sleep, from L. dormire; cf. Gr. , Skr. dra, OSlav. drmati.
  1. Sleeping; as, a dormant animal; hence, not in action or exercise; quiescent; at rest; in abeyance; not disclosed, asserted, or insisted on; as, dormant passions; dormant claims or titles.
    It is by lying dormant a long time, or being . . . very rarely exercised, that arbitrary power steals upon a people. Burke.
  2. (Her.) In a sleeping posture; as, a lion dormant; -- distinguished from couchant. Chaucer.
Dor"mant noun
See Dormant, a.
  1. (Arch.) A large beam in the roof of a house upon which portions of the other timbers rest or " sleep." Arch. Pub. Soc. -- Called also dormant tree, dorman tree, dormond, and dormer. Halliwell.

Webster 1913