- present but not visible, apparent, or actualized; existing as potential: latent ability.
- Pathology. (of an infectious agent or disease) remaining in an inactive or hidden phase; dormant.
- Psychology. existing in unconscious or dormant form but potentially able to achieve expression: a latent emotion.
- Botany. (of buds that are not externally manifest) dormant or undeveloped.
Origin of latent
SynonymsSee more synonyms for latent on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for latently
The deeper sort, however, usually felt it latently English enough.The Tragic Muse
This one's mind, he could now see, was immature but latently capable.Man of Many Minds
E. Everett Evans
But a more serious consequence is latently contained in it, and nothing else than the Nestorian heresy, viz.An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine
John Henry Cardinal Newman
- 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 desireslatent content Compare manifest (def. 2)
Word Origin and History for latently
mid-15c., "concealed, secret," from Latin latentem (nominative latens) "lying hid, secret, unknown," present participle of latere "to lie hidden," from PIE *laidh-, from root *la- "to be hidden" (cf. Greek lethe "forgetfulness, oblivion," Old Church Slavonic lajati "to lie in wait for"). Meaning "dormant" is from 1680s.
- Present or potential but not evident or active.
- In a dormant or hidden stage, as an infection.
- Undeveloped but capable of normal growth under the proper conditions.
- Present in the unconscious mind but not consciously expressed.