the state of being dormant.

1780–90; dorm(ant) + -ancy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To dormancy
World English Dictionary
dormant (ˈdɔːmənt)
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]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1789, from dormant + -cy.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


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

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The sap will start circulating and take them out of dormancy, then it gets cold
  again and freezes the rose.
At the end of the growing season, the leaf dies and the tuber returns to
It blooms at the end of the rainy season, when many other trees are lapsing
  into dormancy and no longer making fruit.
Once they mature, the trees benefit from yearly pruning during dormancy.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature