• synonyms


[si-nes-uh nt]
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  1. growing old; aging.
  2. Cell Biology. (of a cell) no longer capable of dividing but still alive and metabolically active.
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Origin of senescent

1650–60; < Latin senēscent- (stem of senēscēns) present participle of senēscere ‘to grow old’, equivalent to sen- ‘old’ + -ēscent- -escent
Related formsse·nes·cence, nounun·se·nes·cent, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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?

British Dictionary definitions for senescent


  1. growing old
  2. characteristic of old age
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Derived Formssenescence, 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

Word Origin and History for senescent


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

senescent in Medicine


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