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[stag-nuh nt] /ˈstæg nənt/
not flowing or running, as water, air, etc.
stale or foul from standing, as a pool of water.
characterized by lack of development, advancement, or progressive movement:
a stagnant economy.
inactive, sluggish, or dull.
Origin of stagnant
1660-70; < Latin stāgnant- (stem of stāgnāns), present participle of stāgnāre to stagnate; see -ant
Related forms
stagnancy, stagnance, noun
stagnantly, adverb
unstagnant, adjective
unstagnantly, adverb
4. dormant, lifeless, dead, inert, lazy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for stagnant
  • Consistent, regular input can help you break through stagnant periods, and harness the productive ones.
  • Family incomes are stagnant, but tuition keeps going up.
  • Unless it concentrates on industries that can actually drive sustainable growth, it will remain stagnant.
  • Our economy is stagnant and for the first time in a long time, and the national mood is deeply pessimistic.
  • Unless a society is stagnant, its language evolves that it really becomes a rather different language a few centuries later.
  • Outside air often carries fewer germs than stagnant indoor air.
  • Swarms of flies rose from pungent clots of slick, stagnant water.
  • At the same time, supplies have remained relatively stagnant.
  • In stagnant air, pollutant particles linger and can cause problems for people.
  • The stagnant sales are forcing the industry to examine not only how it markets its films but also how it makes them.
British Dictionary definitions for stagnant


(of water, etc) standing still; without flow or current
brackish and foul from standing still
stale, sluggish, or dull from inaction
not growing or developing; static
Derived Forms
stagnancy, stagnance, noun
stagnantly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin stagnāns, from stagnāre to be stagnant, from stagnum a pool
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 stagnant

1660s, from French stagnant (early 17c.), from Latin stagnantem (nominative stagnans), present participle of stagnare "to stagnate" (see stagnate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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