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[si-nes-uh nt] /sɪˈnɛs ənt/
growing old; aging.
Cell Biology. (of a cell) no longer capable of dividing but still alive and metabolically active.
Origin of senescent
1650-60; < Latin senēscent- (stem of senēscēns) present participle of senēscere ‘to grow old’, equivalent to sen- ‘old’ + -ēscent- -escent
Related forms
senescence, noun
unsenescent, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for senescence
  • The resulting panorama is early senescence with all of the common underlying irreversible medical conditions.
  • But many tumor cells can be grown indefinitely in a laboratory culture and are said to have escaped senescence.
  • It will eventually sigh off another shell of gas and settle into eternal senescence as a white dwarf.
  • Eventually they grow so short that the cells reach a state of senescence in which they simply stop dividing or die.
  • Twenty-three years earlier he had written a paper proposing an evolutionary framework for senescence, or aging.
  • senescence helps contain cells so badly damaged that they could turn into cancers.
  • No longer growing or dividing, they enter a state called senescence.
British Dictionary definitions for senescence


growing old
characteristic of old age
Derived Forms
senescence, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin senēscere to grow old, from senex old
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
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Word Origin and History for senescence

1690s, from senescent + -ence. Related: Scenescency (1660s).



1650s, from Latin senescentem (nominative scenescens), present participle of senescere "to grow old," from senex "old" (see senile).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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senescence in Medicine

senescence se·nes·cence (sĭ-něs'əns)
The process of growing old; aging.

senescent se·nes·cent (sĭ-něs'ənt)
Growing old; aging.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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