Someone or something quiescent isn't moving and isn't making any noise.
In other words, whatever is quiescent is inactive, still, and quiet.
"kwee ESS unt"
or "kwhy ESS unt"
(I prefer the second one because it sounds like "quiet," a related word.
If you prefer the first one, you might favor the relationship to "acquiesce.")
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “quiescent inflation.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "Inflation was quiescent.”)
How to use it:
Please take special note in all of the examples below that "quiescent" tends to describe things that are quiet and still for a period of time, not a brief moment in time. That is, you can talk about a quiescent hour in the library, because an hour is a span of time, but you probably wouldn't say "I stood, quiescent, in the doorway," because that's only happening for a brief moment. (Again, the word tends to get used in that way. This isn't a real rule that's written somewhere.)
You can be concrete with this word and talk about quiescent volcanoes, quiescent galaxies, the quiescent surface of a lake, quiescent people resting on a park bench, a quiescent summer day, and so on.
You can also be abstract and talk about quiescent inflation; quiescent music that fades almost completely into the background; someone's quiescent acceptance of something; or quiescent feelings, such as quiescent displeasure, quiescent melancholy, or quiescent relaxation. Something might be in a quiescent state; or someone might play a quiescent role in a larger plan, organization, or system.
We'll find this word a lot in the field of medicine, where conditions often exist even though they don't cause any symptoms right then: quiescent cancer cells, a quiescent tumor, quiescent disease, a quiescent period, etc.
Almost every Sunday in downtown Hilo is quiescent; lots of shops and restaurants are closed, there's little traffic, and while taking a walk you can easily imagine that the zombie apocalypse has finally happened.
A perfectionist's mind is rarely quiescent.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "quiescent" means when you can explain it without saying "inactive" or "motionless."
Think of an issue that you think deserves more attention than it gets, and fill in the blanks. You can be serious or silly: "I can't believe how (my family/my neighborhood/the community/the class/the public, etc.) can just remain quiescent on/about _____."
Example: "I can't believe how the class can just remain quiescent about the weeks and weeks that the professor takes to return their graded work."
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Playing With Words:
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A Point Well Made:
Douglas Adams: "The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be."
1. The opposite of QUIESCENT is
2. A welcome quiescence settled over the home as _____.
A. the family sat down to a lively dinner
B. the screen door cheerfully banged open and shut as friends entered
C. each lamp was switched off for the night and the fans hummed gently
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
The roots of "quiescent" literally mean "coming to a rest." It's a word that's easily understood once we notice how much it looks like "quiet." We also easily understand the suffix, "-esce" or "-escent," meaning "becoming." A couple hundred words end in this suffix, many of which are very familiar, like "adolescent" (someone becoming an adult) and "crescent" (in the shape of the moon becoming fuller.)