lying asleep or as if asleep; inactive, as in sleep; torpid: The lecturer's sudden shout woke the dormant audience.
in a state of rest or inactivity; inoperative; in abeyance: The project is dormant for the time being.
Biology. in a state of minimal metabolic activity with cessation of growth, either as a reaction to adverse conditions or as part of an organism's normal annual rhythm.
undisclosed; unasserted: dormant musical talent.
(of a volcano) not erupting.
Botany. temporarily inactive: dormant buds; dormant seeds.
(of a pesticide) applied to a plant during a period of dormancy: a dormant spray.
Heraldry. (of an animal) represented as lying with its head on its forepaws, as if asleep.

1350–1400; Middle English dorma(u)nt < Anglo-French, present participle of dormir < Latin dormīre to sleep; see -ant

nondormant, adjective
semidormant, adjective

1, 2. quiescent. See inactive. 4. latent.

1. awake, active. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. dormant, prp. of dormir "to sleep," from L. dormire "to sleep," from I.E. base *dre- "to sleep" (cf. O.C.S. dremati "to sleep, doze," Gk. edrathon "I slept," Skt. drati "sleeps").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
dormant   (dôr'mənt)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Being in an inactive state during which growth and development cease and metabolism is slowed, usually in response to an adverse environment. In winter, some plants survive as dormant seeds or bulbs, and some animals enter the dormant state of hibernation.

  2. Not active but capable of renewed activity. Volcanoes that have erupted within historical times and are expected to erupt again are dormant.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The country is home to both inactive and dormant volcanoes, and is prone to
It's normally present as part of a larger protein in a muscle cell's outer
  membrane, where it lies dormant and inactive.
They can live up to 18 months without a meal and can lie dormant until they do
This method exposes to light and air all the weed seeds lying dormant in the
  soil and encourages weed growth.
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