Currently without human hosts. The ancient Egyptian hieroglyph system and the Gnostic Gospels are examples of "dead" schemes which lay dormant for millennia in hidden or untranslatable texts, waiting to re-activate themselves by infecting modern archeologists. Some obsolete memes never become entirely dormant, such as Phlogiston theory, which simply mutated from a "belief" into a "quaint historical footnote."

Dor"mant (?), a. [F., p. pr. of dormir to sleep, from L. dormire; cf. Gr. , Skr. dra, OSlav. drmati.]


Sleeping; as, a dormant animal; hence, not in action or exercise; quiescent; at rest; in abeyance; not disclosed, asserted, or insisted on; as, dormant passions; dormant claims or titles.

It is by lying dormant a long time, or being . . . very rarely exercised, that arbitrary power steals upon a people. Burke.

2. Her.

In a sleeping posture; as, a lion dormant; -- distinguished from couchant.

Dormant partner Com., a partner who takes no share in the active business of a company or partnership, but is entitled to a share of the profits, and subject to a share in losses; -- called also sleeping ∨ silent partner. -- Dormant window Arch., a dormer window. See Dormer. -- Table dormant, a stationary table. [Obs.]



© Webster 1913.

Dor"mant (?), n. [See Dormant, a.] Arch.

A large beam in the roof of a house upon which portions of the other timbers rest or " sleep."

Arch. Pub. Soc. -- Called also dormant tree, dorman tree, dormond, and dormer.



© Webster 1913.

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