Monday, August 27, 2007

The Word of the Week is...

quiescent \kwy-ESS-unt\ adjective
*1 : marked by inactivity or repose : tranquilly at rest
2 : causing no trouble or symptoms

Example sentence:
The storm was over, and the quiescent waters betrayed no sign of yesterday's turbulence.

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 come forth but may emerge and develop, as in "a latent desire for success."

"Dormant" implies a state of inactivity similar to sleep, as in "their passions lay dormant."

"Potential" applies to what may or may not come to be. "A potential disaster" is a typical example.

"Quiescent," which traces to the Latin "quiescere" (meaning "to become quiet" or "to rest"), often suggests a temporary cessation of activity, as in "a quiescent disease" or "a summer resort quiescent in wintertime."

*Indicates the sense illustrated in the example sentence.


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