Share this entry
latent period Syllabification: la·tent pe·ri·od

Definition of latent period in English:


1 Medicine 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.
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 The delay between the receipt of a stimulus by a sensory nerve and the response to it.
Definition of latent period in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources