Definition of dormant in English:


Syllabification: dor·mant
Pronunciation: /ˈdôrmənt


  • 1(Of an animal) having normal physical functions suspended or slowed down for a period of time; in or as if in a deep sleep: dormant butterflies figurative the event evoked memories that she would rather had lain dormant
    More example sentences
    • For decades the old garden had lain dormant and almost forgotten as many others of that period often do.
    • The case had been long dormant for years.
    • Your true ancestry did not disappear, though it lay dormant for many years.
  • 1.1(Of a plant or bud) alive but not actively growing.
    More example sentences
    • The following method can be used to determine if dormant wheat plants are alive and likely to resume active growth in the spring.
    • Following dispersal from the parent plant, seeds are dormant.
    • So long as those auxin signals move out from the growing tips, few - if any - of the dormant buds on the plant will open up and begin to grow.
  • 1.2(Of a volcano) temporarily inactive.
    More example sentences
    • Running down each side of the valley are mountain peaks dotted with dormant volcanoes.
    • Fuji is a Japan's highest mountain with a dormant volcano, which most recently erupted in 1708.
    • It's there in the white-clad high priest presiding in the temple at the summit of a dormant volcano.
  • 1.3(Of a disease) causing no symptoms but not cured and liable to recur.
    More example sentences
    • However, some time is required to treat dormant diseases such as chronic asthma and diabetes.
    • "Renal disease tends to lie dormant and often symptoms don't become apparent until it's too late, " he warned.
    • Diabetes mellitus, chronic renal failure and cirrhosis of the liver seem to predispose the activation to disease of the otherwise dormant latent infection.
  • 1.4 [usually postpositive] Heraldry (Of an animal) depicted lying with its head on its paws.



More example sentences
  • An old and unconquered fear murmurs and shifts in its sleep, and I'm tiptoeing round it for fear of rousing it from dormancy.
  • The holly bush is said to be considered a symbol of the continuation of life because it remains green during winter dormancy.
  • It is important to provide a fertile, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil, a sunny site and a cold period of dormancy.


late Middle English (in the senses 'fixed in position' and 'latent'): from Old French, 'sleeping', present participle of dormir, from Latin dormire 'to sleep'.

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