present but not visible, apparent, or activated; existing as potential: latent ability.
Pathology. (of an infectious agent or disease) in a phase of being hidden or unrecognized; not yet exhibiting symptoms. : Compare dormant (def. 4).
Psychology. existing in unconscious or dormant form but potentially able to achieve expression: latent learning,a latent emotion.
Botany. (of buds that are not externally manifest) dormant or undeveloped.
- la·tent·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use latent in a sentence
By the time England slumped into its latest lockdown, I would come to think of my project not merely as a surrogate for my latent curiosity but as an inspiration to endure.
Nordica set the benchmark for accessible or latent power in 2019 with the Enforcer 104 Free.
So when I said earlier that cognition is not intrinsically conscious, that’s just saying that memories are, for the most part, latent.
Washington can be a lonely place at the top, and these climbers are coming up together, resting on their excellence and latent potential.Introducing the People Who Will Shape Washington for the Next Generation | Philip Elliott | February 17, 2021 | Time
I would rather feel they are bringing to the surface latent prejudices that are already there.Martin Luther King Jr.’s challenge to liberal allies — and why it resonates today | Jeanne Theoharis | February 8, 2021 | Washington Post
But a recent trend is capitalizing on our latent desires to actually become the famous people we love and love to hate.Kevin Spacey and the Most Inexplicable Celebrity Video Game Cameos | Amy Zimmerman | May 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
So it carbonates all of these, I'd say latent desires, to have more meaning in his life.'About a Boy' Star David Walton Is No Hugh Grant, in the Best Way | Kevin Fallon | February 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Many pent-up resentments and latent frustrations are boiling inside the Negro, and he must release them.Alex Haley’s 1965 Playboy Interview with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. | Alex Haley | January 19, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was more science faction, a monument to human potential—including the latent potential for self-destruction.At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a Steady Drip of Toxic Trouble | Eric Nusbaum | February 24, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
But the "Zoabiz" was a small reminder that latent chauvinism is alive and well.
Now listen to me, said the dying woman, aloud, as if making a great effort to revive one latent spark of energy.Oliver Twist, Vol. II (of 3) | Charles Dickens
That high-pressure engines owed their advantages mainly to a reduction of the relative importance of this latent heat.Life of Richard Trevithick, Volume II (of 2) | Francis Trevithick
In descending it is recondensed, and by the process by which its atoms are brought together its latent heat is made sensible.Outlines of the Earth's History | Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
Again she felt that everlasting calm, arguing such latent forces, was the thing she hated most in him.Mistress Wilding | Rafael Sabatini
But it possessed a latent purchasing power such as probably no other Government in history ever had.The Supplies for the Confederate Army | Caleb Huse
British Dictionary definitions for latent
potential but not obvious or explicit
(of buds, spores, etc) dormant
pathol (esp of an infectious disease) not yet revealed or manifest
(of a virus) inactive in the host cell, its nucleic acid being integrated into, and replicated with, the host cell's DNA
psychoanal relating to that part of a dream expressive of repressed desires: latent content Compare manifest (def. 2)
- latency, noun
- latently, 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