|1.||quiet and inactive, as during sleep|
|2.||latent or inoperative|
|3.||(of a volcano) neither extinct nor erupting|
|4.||biology alive but in a resting torpid condition with suspended growth and reduced metabolism|
|5.||(usually postpositive) heraldry (of a beast) in a sleeping position|
|[C14: from Old French dormant, from dormir to sleep, from Latin dormīre]|
state of reduced metabolic activity adopted by many organisms under conditions of environmental stress or, often, as in winter, when such stressful conditions are likely to appear.
Learn more about dormancy with a free trial on Britannica.com.