• synonyms


  1. not flowing or running, as water, air, etc.
  2. stale or foul from standing, as a pool of water.
  3. characterized by lack of development, advancement, or progressive movement: a stagnant economy.
  4. inactive, sluggish, or dull.
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Origin of stagnant

1660–70; < Latin stāgnant- (stem of stāgnāns), present participle of stāgnāre to stagnate; see -ant
Related formsstag·nan·cy, stag·nance, nounstag·nant·ly, adverbun·stag·nant, adjectiveun·stag·nant·ly, adverb

Synonyms for stagnant

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stagnancy

Historical Examples of stagnancy

  • And with it all there is a heavy sense of stagnancy, a dreary lifelessness.

    Figures of Several Centuries

    Arthur Symons

  • There is remarkable equableness and stagnancy in the atmosphere up here, I think.

    Farthest North

    Fridtjof Nansen

  • Takes the advance, but is justified in it by the slowness, nay, by the stagnancy of the administration.

  • There were long periods of barrenness or stagnancy when Stephen could write nothing.

  • The stagnancy has not dried up, but festers still in black rot below the rushes.

British Dictionary definitions for stagnancy


  1. (of water, etc) standing still; without flow or current
  2. brackish and foul from standing still
  3. stale, sluggish, or dull from inaction
  4. not growing or developing; static
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Derived Formsstagnancy or stagnance, nounstagnantly, adverb

Word Origin for stagnant

C17: from Latin stagnāns, from stagnāre to be stagnant, from stagnum a pool
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 stagnancy



1660s, from French stagnant (early 17c.), from Latin stagnantem (nominative stagnans), present participle of stagnare "to stagnate" (see stagnate).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper