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Webster 1913 Edition


Latent

La′tent

(lā′tent)
,
Adj.
[L.
latens
,
-entis
, p. pr. of
latere
to lie hid or concealed; cf. Gr.
λανθάνειν
, E.
lethargy
: cf. F.
latent
.]
1.
Not visible or apparent; hidden; concealed; secret; dormant;
as,
latent
springs of action
.
The evils
latent
in the most promising contrivances are provided for as they arise.
Burke.
Latent buds
(Bot.)
,
buds which remain undeveloped or dormant for a long time, but may eventually grow.
Latent heat
(Physics)
,
that quantity of heat which disappears or becomes concealed in a body while producing some change in it other than rise of temperature, as fusion, evaporation, or expansion, the quantity being constant for each particular body and for each species of change; the amount of heat required to produce a change of phase.
Latent period
.
(a)
(Med.)
The regular time in which a disease is supposed to be existing without manifesting itself.
(b)
(Physiol.)
One of the phases in a simple muscular contraction, in which invisible preparatory changes are taking place in the nerve and muscle.
(c)
(Biol.)
One of those periods or resting stages in the development of the ovum, in which development is arrested prior to renewed activity.

Webster 1828 Edition


Latent

LA'TENT

,
Adj.
[L. latens, lateo; Gr; Heb. to cover.]
Hid; concealed; secret; not seen; not visible or apparent. We speak of latent motives; latent reasons; latent springs of action.
Latent heat, is heat in combination, in distinction from sensible heat; the portion of heat which disappears, when a body changes its form from the solid to the fluid, or from the fluid to the aeriform state.

Definition 2022


latent

latent

English

Adjective

latent (not comparable)

  1. Existing or present but concealed or inactive.
  2. (pathology, of a virus) remaining in an inactive or hidden phase; dormant.
    • 2008 July 2, Joe Palca, “Scientists Make Herpes Breakthrough”, abstract, All Things Considered, National Public Radio
      Those infected with a herpes virus are infected for life. That’s because the virus goes "latent." Sometimes, it awakes from its slumber, producing painful illnesses.
  3. (biology) lying dormant or hidden until circumstances are suitable for development or manifestation.

Related terms

Synonyms

Antonyms

Translations

Anagrams

Noun

latent (plural latents)

  1. (forensics) The residue left by a person's finger that can be made visible by a process such as powder dusting; a latent fingerprint.
    • 2001, Henry C. Lee, ‎Timothy Palmbach, ‎& Marilyn T. Miller, Henry Lee's Crime Scene Handbook, ISBN 0124408303, page 383:
      Once the latent prints have been visualized by the superglue and powder dusting techniques, they should be photographed again. Then the developed latents need to be lifted and placed on backing cards. The latent cards are documented by putting the case number, date and time of lifting, initials of person processing the evidence, and a sketch indicating the location of the lifted latent print on the back of the lift card, as shown in Photo 6.6.
    • 2008, Jim Fisher, Forensics Under Fire, ISBN 0813544246:
      Paralegal workers do not argue cases in court, and these crimescene fingerprint gatherers do not compare crime-scene latents to known prints of suspects and present their findings in court.
  2. (statistics) An underlying cause that can be inferred from statistical correlations; factor.
    • 1975, Rudolph J. Rummel, Understanding Conflict and War, ISBN 0470745010:
      These kinds of latents define the invariant dispositional properties enabling prediction and control of the external environment. Finally, there are the latents that underlie manifestation as relationships of power, as cause to effect, condition to occurrence, or dependent variable to independent variable.
    • 2007, William Outhwaite & ‎Stephen Turner, The SAGE Handbook of Social Science Methodology, ISBN 1446206459, page 166:
      That is, the observed covariance between indicator y1 and y3 would mirror the understandable causal behavior of the corresponding underlying latents.
    • 2009, Stanley A. Mulaik, Linear Causal Modeling with Structural Equations, ISBN 1439800391, page 209:
      If one were to compute the reproduced covariances among the latents of the structural model, they might be different from the covariances obtained between the same number of latents in the measurement model.
  3. Anything that is latent.
    • 2011, Javier Cumpa & ‎Erwin Tegtmeier, Ontological Categories, ISBN 311032959X, page 158:
      Even if latents may not be actually detectable in any given situation, they may nevertheless be present in it. Latents may become actual if proper triggering conditions are in place, or they may be lost in the process.
    • 2016, Christa Wick, Alpha Curves: A BBW Shapeshifter Romance:
      After we discovered Leah and I realized what she was, the flood gates opened. More and more latents have been discovered, as well as cubs.

Danish

Etymology

From German latent, from French latent, from Latin latens, present participle of latere (to be hidden).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /latɛnt/, [laˈtˢɛnˀd̥]

Adjective

latent

  1. latent (existing or present but concealed or inactive)

Inflection

Inflection of latent
Positive Comparative Superlative
Common singular latent 2
Neuter singular latent 2
Plural latente 2
Definite attributive1 latente
1) When an adjective is applied predicatively to something definite, the corresponding "indefinite" form is used.
2) The "indefinite" superlatives may not be used attributively.

French

Etymology

From Latin latens, latentis, present participle of lateo (lie hidden).

Adjective

latent m (feminine singular latente, masculine plural latents, feminine plural latentes)

  1. latent

Anagrams


German

Pronunciation

Adjective

latent

  1. latent

Related terms


Latin

Verb

latent

  1. third-person plural present active indicative of lateō