Definition of latent period in English:

latent period

Syllabification: la·tent pe·ri·od


  • 1 Medicine (also latency period) The period between infection with a virus or other microorganism and the onset of symptoms, or between exposure to radiation and the appearance of a cancer.
    More example sentences
    • It is generally assumed that episodes of brain cancer that appear after latent periods of less than 10 years are merely coincidental associations, not sentinel indicators of causation.
    • As with tobacco, there will be a latent period between the onset of smoking and the development of lung damage, cardiovascular disease, or malignant change.
    • There is a long latent period of 20-40 years between exposure and disease expression.
  • 2 Physiology (also latency) The delay between the receipt of a stimulus by a sensory nerve and the response to it.

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