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[si-nes-uh nt] /sɪˈnɛs ənt/
growing old; aging.
Cell Biology. (of a cell) no longer capable of dividing but still alive and metabolically active.
Origin of senescent
1650-60; < Latin senēscent- (stem of senēscēns) present participle of senēscere ‘to grow old’, equivalent to sen- ‘old’ + -ēscent- -escent
Related forms
senescence, noun
unsenescent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for senescent
Historical Examples
  • I constantly act as phlebotomist to the vanity of the young and to the anecdotage of the senile and senescent.

    The Journal of a Disappointed Man Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion
  • On this theme she chanted long and lovingly and a hundred coloured, senescent imageries leaped from the song.

    Nights in London

    Thomas Burke
  • A senescent city; mostly antiquated Spanish architecture,—ponderous archways and earthquake-proof walls.

  • The gardener slammed the door of the senescent truck with vehement lack of affection.

  • Has it not sometimes occurred to you that it is only in the senescent epoch of a nations life that love disappears?

  • That senescent October moon which a year ago marked the end of love's halcyon would have been a suitable light for such a party.

    Carnival Compton Mackenzie
  • By that sort of piety to which senescent female sinners everywhere and at all times devote themselves she secured new friends.

    Lucretia Borgia Ferdinand Gregorovius
  • The process in which we now find James engaged is mental rather than senescent, but you would hardly guess it to look at him.

    The Whirligig of Time Wayland Wells Williams
British Dictionary definitions for senescent


growing old
characteristic of old age
Derived Forms
senescence, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin senēscere to grow old, from senex old
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for senescent

1650s, from Latin senescentem (nominative scenescens), present participle of senescere "to grow old," from senex "old" (see senile).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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senescent in Medicine

senescent se·nes·cent (sĭ-něs'ənt)
Growing old; aging.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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