What does latent mean?

Definitions for latent
ˈleɪt ntla·tent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word latent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. latentadjective

    potentially existing but not presently evident or realized

    "a latent fingerprint"; "latent talent"

  2. latentadjective

    (pathology) not presently active

    "latent infection"; "latent diabetes"


  1. Latentadjective

    (Med.) Existing but not presenting symptoms; dormant or developing; -- of disease, especially infectious diseases; as, the latent phase of an infection.


  1. latentadjective

    Existing or present but concealed or inactive.

  2. Etymology: From latens, present participle of lateo.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Latentadjective

    Hidden; concealed; secret.

    Etymology: latens, Latin.

    If we look into its retired movements, and more secret latent springs, we may there trace out a steady hand producing good out of evil. John Woodward, Natural History.

    Who drinks, alas! but to forget; nor sees,
    That melancholy sloth, severe disease,
    Mem’ry confus’d, and interrupted thought,
    Death’s harbingers lie latent in the draught. Matthew Prior.

    What were Wood’s visible costs I know not, and what were his latent is variously conjectured. Jonathan Swift.


  1. latent

    Latent refers to something that is present or exists but is not active, visible, or has not yet developed or manifested. It often describes qualities, abilities, conditions, or states that have the potential to arise or become active under certain circumstances. This term is commonly used in various fields such as psychology, medicine, and physical sciences.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Latentadjective

    not visible or apparent; hidden; springs of action

  2. Etymology: [L. latens, -entis, p. pr. of latere to lie hid or concealed; cf. Gr. lanqa`nein, E. lethargy: cf. F. latent.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Latent

    lā′tent, adj. hid: concealed: not visible or apparent: dormant, undeveloped.—ns. Lā′tence, Lā′tency.—adv. Lā′tently.—Latent heat (see Heat); Latent life, a phrase describing the physiological condition of organisms in which the functions are for a time suspended without losing the power of future activity; Latent period of a disease, the time that elapses before symptoms show the presence of the disease. [L. latens, pr.p. of latēre, to lie hid; Gr. lanthanein, to be hidden.]

Matched Categories

Anagrams for latent »

  1. latten

  2. talent

  3. nattle

  4. tantle

How to pronounce latent?

How to say latent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of latent in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of latent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of latent in a Sentence

  1. Daniel Malchuk:

    Over this period, the release of latent capacity across the portfolio will also help annual group copper production grow to approximately 1.7 million tonnes at very low cost.

  2. Orison Swett Marden:

    Opportunities? They are all around us... There is power lying latent everywhere waiting for the observant eye to discover it.

  3. Joanna Cound:

    We started to make prices, not just to take prices, in an attempt to uncover more latent liquidity.

  4. Ryan Pack:

    I Ryan Pack may have regrets for the dreams and goals I was unable to achieve but I'm very happy for the things I was able and allowed to obtain. My heart will not be at peace until all of my latent potential is fulfilled and all of my duties and responsibilities are met. Therefore I will continue to strive, and thrive, until no longer possible, until no longer necessary.

  5. Mountain View Police Department:

    Over 80 latent fingerprints that were also collected at the time of Laurie’s death were re-examined by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Identification Unit, which resulted in even more fingerprints matching Woodward.

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Translations for latent

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"latent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 27 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/latent>.

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    the act of making a noisy disturbance
    • A. rumpus
    • B. loom
    • C. famish
    • D. transpire

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