adjective1 : marked by inactivity or repose :tranquilly at rest 2 : causing no trouble or symptoms
The alligator is deceptively quiescenton the sunny shore, watching its approaching prey, waiting for the moment to strike.
“Measles made a modest comebackaround 1990, and then fell quiescent—until the recent outbreak of measles cases at Disneyland in California….” — Richard A. Epstein, Defining Ideas, February 2, 2015
Did you know?
Quiescent won’t cause you any pain, and neither will its synonyms latent, dormant, and potential—at least not immediately. All four words mean“not now showing signs of activity or existence.” Latent usually applies to something that has not yet comeforth but may emerge and develop, as in “a latent desire for success.” Dormant implies a state of inactivitysimilar to sleep, as in “their passionslay dormant.” Potential applies to what may or may not come to be. “A potential disaster” is a typicalexample. Quiescent, which traces to Latin quiescere (meaning “to becomequiet” or “to rest“), often suggests a temporary cessation of activity, as in “a quiescent disease” or “a summerresort quiescent in wintertime.”