[ih-mur-juh nt]
See more synonyms for emergent on Thesaurus.com
  1. coming into view or notice; issuing.
  2. emerging; rising from a liquid or other surrounding medium.
  3. coming into existence, especially with political independence: the emergent nations of Africa.
  4. arising casually or unexpectedly.
  5. calling for immediate action; urgent.
  6. Evolution. displaying emergence.
  1. Ecology. an aquatic plant having its stem, leaves, etc., extending above the surface of the water.

Origin of emergent

1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin ēmergent- (stem ofēmergēns) arising out of, present participle of ēmergere to emerge
Related formse·mer·gent·ly, adverbe·mer·gent·ness, nounnon·e·mer·gent, adjectivere·e·mer·gent, adjectiveun·e·mer·gent, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for emergent


  1. coming into being or noticean emergent political structure
  2. (of a nation) recently independent
  1. an aquatic plant with stem and leaves above the water
Derived Formsemergently, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for emergent

mid-15c., from Latin emergentem (nominative emergens), present participle of emergere (see emerge).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

emergent in Science


  1. Rooted below a body of water or in an area that is periodically submerged but extending above the water level. Used of aquatic plants such as cattails, rushes, or cord grass.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.