Skip to main content

Latent vs Dormant vs Quiescent vs Potential vs Abeyant

Latent, dormantquiescentpotentialabeyant are comparable when meaning not now manifest or not evincing signs of existence or activity.

Latent implies concealment and is applied to what is present without showing itself.

Dormant usually suggests sleeping and is applied to something which has once been active but now is inactive though not incapable of future activity.

Quiescent emphasizes the fact of inactivity without necessary implications either of causes or of past or future activity. Sometimes it connotes immobility.

Potential applies to something which at a time in question does not possess such being, nature, or effect as is expressed but which is likely to have or capable of having such being, nature, or effect at some future time.

Abeyant (more often, predicatively, in abeyance ) implies a suspension of activity or active existence <in Mr. Brooke the hereditary strain of Puritan energy was clearly in abeyance —George Eliot >  It usually connotes expectancy of revival.