[ dawr-muhnt ]
/ ˈdɔr mənt /


Nearby words

  1. dorking,
  2. dorkland,
  3. dorky,
  4. dorm,
  5. dormancy,
  6. dormer,
  7. dormeuse,
  8. dormie,
  9. dormient,
  10. dormin

Origin of dormant

1350–1400; Middle English dorma(u)nt < Anglo-French, present participle of dormir < Latin dormīre to sleep; see -ant

1, 2. quiescent. See inactive. 4. latent.


Related formsnon·dor·mant, adjectivesem·i·dor·mant, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for semi-dormant


/ (ˈdɔːmənt) /


quiet and inactive, as during sleep
latent or inoperative
(of a volcano) neither extinct nor erupting
biology alive but in a resting torpid condition with suspended growth and reduced metabolism
(usually postpositive) heraldry (of a beast) in a sleeping position
Compare active, passive

Derived Formsdormancy, noun

Word Origin for dormant

C14: from Old French dormant, from dormir to sleep, from Latin dormīre

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 semi-dormant



late 14c., "fixed in place," from Old French dormant (12c.), present participle of dormir "to sleep," from Latin dormire "to sleep," from PIE root *drem- "to sleep" (cf. Old Church Slavonic dremati "to sleep, doze," Greek edrathon "I slept," Sanskrit drati "sleeps"). Meaning "in a resting situation" (in heraldry) is from c.1500. Meaning "sleeping' is from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for semi-dormant


[ dôrmənt ]

Being in an inactive state during which growth and development cease and metabolism is slowed, usually in response to an adverse environment. In winter, some plants survive as dormant seeds or bulbs, and some animals enter the dormant state of hibernation.
Not active but capable of renewed activity. Volcanoes that have erupted within historical times and are expected to erupt again are dormant.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.