verb (used without object), stag·nat·ed, stag·nat·ing.

to cease to run or flow, as water, air, etc.
to be or become stale or foul from standing, as a pool of water.
to stop developing, growing, progressing, or advancing: My mind is stagnating from too much TV.
to be or become sluggish and dull: When the leading lady left, the show started to stagnate.

verb (used with object), stag·nat·ed, stag·nat·ing.

to make stagnant.

Origin of stagnate

1660–70; < Latin stāgnātus (past participle of stāgnāre), equivalent to stāgn(um) pool of standing water + -ātus -ate1
Related formsstag·na·tion, nounstag·na·to·ry [stag-nuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈstæg nəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectiveun·stag·nat·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stagnate

Contemporary Examples of stagnate

Historical Examples of stagnate

  • You and your wife Joanna may stagnate here till you blue-mold, for me.

    The Midnight Queen

    May Agnes Fleming

  • Let them squeal, let them stagnate, let dust settle on their wares that no man came to buy.

    Trail's End

    George W. Ogden

  • Oh, we'd had star-travel for centuries, we were beginning to stagnate.

    The Colors of Space

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

  • The villages, drained of their best blood, stagnate and decay.

    The New World of Islam

    Lothrop Stoddard

  • This became a nightmare that threatened to stagnate the blood in his veins.

    The Red Acorn

    John McElroy

British Dictionary definitions for stagnate



(intr) to be or to become stagnant
Derived Formsstagnation, noun
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 stagnate

1660s (implied in stagnation), from Latin stagnatum, stagnatus, past participle of stagnare "to stagnate," from stagnatum "standing water," from PIE root *stag- "to seep drip" (cf. Greek stazein "to ooze, drip;" see stalactite). Related: Stagnated; stagnating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper