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1. Not awake; asleep: "[He] lay dormant on the scruffy couch, his mouth open, reading glasses slumped on his swollen nostrils" (Steven Heighton).
2. Present but not active or manifest though capable of becoming so: "a harrowing experience which ... lay dormant but still menacing" (Charles Jackson).
3. Temporarily inactive: a dormant volcano.
4. Being in a condition of biological rest or inactivity characterized by cessation of growth or development and the suspension of many metabolic processes: a dormant bud; a dormant bacterium.

dor′man·cy n.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Temporary inactivity; e.g., a state of transiently reduced metabolic activity.
dormant, adjective
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