American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Lying asleep or as if asleep; inactive.
- adj. Latent but capable of being activated: "a harrowing experience which . . . lay dormant but still menacing” ( Charles Jackson).
- adj. Temporarily quiescent: a dormant volcano. See Synonyms at inactive, latent.
- adj. In a condition of biological rest or inactivity characterized by cessation of growth or development and the suspension of many metabolic processes.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Sleeping; asleep.
- In heraldry, lying down with its head on its fore paws, as if asleep: said of a beast used as a bearing.
- Hibernating: said of certain animals.
- In a state of rest or inactivity; quiescent; not in action, movement, force, or operation; being or kept in abeyance: as, a dormant rebellion; a dormant title; dormant privileges.
- n. A beam; a sleeper: formerly also dormond, dormant-tree. Also dormer. Halliwell.
- n. A dish which remains from the beginning to the end of a repast, such as cold pies, hams, and potted meats, placed down the middle of the table at a large entertainment; a centerpiece which is not removed.
- In botany, not active or growing.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Arch.) A large beam in the roof of a house upon which portions of the other timbers rest or “ sleep.”
- adj. lying with head on paws as if sleeping
- adj. in a condition of biological rest or suspended animation
- adj. (of e.g. volcanos) not erupting and not extinct
- adj. inactive but capable of becoming active
- From Middle English, from Old French, from Latin dormiēns, present participle of dormiō ("I sleep"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French, from present participle of dormir, to sleep, from Latin dormīre. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“They are dormant, at any rate, to use another word, for the death of my text is not so absolute a death but that a resurrection is possible, and so _dormant_ comes to express pretty nearly the same thing.”
“The term dormant factor (bag-la nyal) means, literally, something that is “asleep to the taste of the mind.””
“How long they will remain dormant is anybody's guess.”
“The firm's court-appointed receiver, Lee Richards, said the move "greatly reduced" the assets of the company, which he described as a dormant entity with no clients that served solely as a proprietary trading unit, Bloomberg reports.”
“Clause 86 will remain dormant until the government chooses to enact it by order-in-council.”
“But this side of her nature had lain dormant through the years, waiting for the mate to appear.”
“A human thirst for revenge, long dead, awakened in dormant parts of the brainstem.”
“The president was faced with a sudden renewal of labor-management conflicts that had lain dormant during the war years, severe shortages in housing and consumer products, and widespread dissatisfaction with inflation, which at one point hit six percent in a single month.”
“Called “La Stupenda,” she combined the heft of a Wagnerian singer with the agility and upper register of a coloratura soprano, leading to powerful interpretations of great bel canto roles that had lain dormant for decades -- following in the wake of Maria Callas, who had spearheaded their initial revival.”
“In particular, they spread deadly explosives over a large area which remain dormant on the ground.”
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