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(of a quality or state) existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden; concealed:discovering her latent talent for diplomacy Biology (of a bud, resting stage, etc.) lying dormant or hidden until circumstances are suitable for development or manifestation. (of a disease) in which the usual symptoms are not yet manifest. (of a microorganism, especially a virus) present in the body without causing disease, but capable of doing so at a later stage or when transmitted to another body.