Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Present or potential but not evident or active: synonym: inactive.
  • adjective Medicine Present but not symptomatic.
  • adjective Biology Being in a condition of biological rest or inactivity characterized by cessation of growth or development and the suspension of many metabolic processes.
  • adjective Psychology Present and accessible in the unconscious mind but not consciously expressed.
  • noun A fingerprint that is not apparent to the eye but can be made sufficiently visible, as by dusting or fuming, for use in identification.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Hidden; concealed; not visible or apparent; not manifested: as, latent motives; latent germs of disease.
  • In botany, dormant or undeveloped: said of buds which are not externally manifest until stimulated to growth.
  • Synonyms Covert, Occult, etc. See secret.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not visible or apparent; hidden; concealed; secret; dormant.
  • adjective (Med.) Existing but not presenting symptoms; dormant or developing; -- of disease, especially infectious diseases.
  • adjective (Bot.) buds which remain undeveloped or dormant for a long time, but may eventually grow.
  • adjective (Physics) that quantity of heat which disappears or becomes concealed in a body while producing some change in it other than rise of temperature, as fusion, evaporation, or expansion, the quantity being constant for each particular body and for each species of change; the amount of heat required to produce a change of phase.
  • adjective (Med.), (Physiol.), (Biol.) One of those periods or resting stages in the development of the ovum, in which development is arrested prior to renewed activity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Existing or present but concealed or inactive.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective potentially existing but not presently evident or realized
  • adjective (pathology) not presently active

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin latēns, latent-, present participle of latēre, to lie hidden.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin latens, latentis, present participle of lateo ("lie hidden").

Examples

  • Energy used for evapotranspiration is generally referred to as latent heat flux; however, the term latent heat flux is broad, and includes other related processes unrelated to transpiration including condensation (e.g., fog, dew), and snow and ice sublimation.

    Evapotranspiration

  • Some persons do not like the term latent energy, and speak of energy which is not in action as possible or potential.

    Religion and Chemistry

  • The term latent typically refers to something that is dormant, not observable, or not yet realized.

    Business Wire Travel News

  • The term latent typically refers to something that is dormant, not observable, or not yet realized.

    Business Wire Travel News

  • The term latent typically refers to something that is dormant, not observable, or not yet realized.

    Business Wire Travel News

  • The term latent typically refers to something that is dormant, not observable, or not yet realized.

    Business Wire Travel News

  • The term latent typically refers to something that is dormant, not observable, or not yet realized.

    Business Wire Travel News

  • The term latent typically refers to something that is dormant, not observable, or not yet realized.

    Business Wire Travel News

  • The term latent typically refers to something that is dormant, not observable, or not yet realized.

    Business Wire Travel News

  • The term latent typically refers to something that is dormant, not observable, or not yet realized.

    Business Wire Travel News

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Nature livens to the latent animal, concedes you contain a divine fragment of the pantheistic whole, that you are, at least in part, part of it. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 5, 2012