Weekly Word – Quiescent

Weekly Word is a weekly post intended to illustrate the meaning and use of a single word. The chosen word will begin with a different letter each week, as Louise (my daughter) and I work our way through the alphabet.

Louise posts on her website:

An Enchanted Place

This week’s word begins with the letter Q:

Part of Speech:



1.   Quiet, still, or in a state or period of inactivity or dormancy.

2.  An absence of upheaval or discord.

3.  Having little or no sunspot activity. (Astronomy)

4.  Asymptomatic (in Medicine) i.e. a condition or a person producing or showing no symptoms.


qui -es -cent   [ kwee-esuhnt, kwahy-es-cent]

Audio Link:


Related Forms:

quiescence or quiescency (both nouns)

quiescently (adverb)


still  calm  tranquil unagitated motionless  unmoving  immobile undisturbed  quiet  peaceful asleep  slumbering  resting  serene  passive  placid  silent inoperative  inactive  dormant latent deactivated  inert  in abeyance  stagnant


Active  activated  agitated   awake alert

Word Origin:

17th century (1600-10) from Latin quiescere meaning to rest or to become quiet or still. It often suggests a temporary cessation of activity

Use the Word in a Sentence (or a paragraph or short story). 

1.   The news from London shocked Lady Margaret, rendering her quiescent for the first time in months. Her youngest son had run off with a barmaid, apparently preferring the girl’s company to listening to conversations in this magnificent hall that had been his home for the past nineteen years. Well, Margaret decided, she would endure his absence quiescently for the next few weeks, by which time he would have run out of money and be on his way home. James had evidently not yet realised that until his twenty-first birthday, his monetary allowance was limited, and did not lend itself to providing for a floozy. Still, James’ absence would bring a welcomed period of quiescence to the house for a while, which would please her husband, Lord Algernon, very well indeed.

2.   From the top level of the pagoda, Akitomo gazed at the beautiful vista before him. The majestic snow-capped mountain, Fujiyama – Fujisan to his people – reared tall and proud to dominate the island. It had been quiescent for over three hundred years and the people of Honshu had grown complacent, choosing to believe that the once vengeful volcano would remain in a state of silent quiescence for ever. It was said that to people of the past the volcano was a god, ever ready to wreak punishment on his errant children. Akitomo shook his head, knowing that to be no more than myth. Though Fuji appeared to be resting quiescently, in the chambers deep beneath, the raging magma was never still. Once the mounting pressure forced it to the surface, the majestic Fujisan would, indeed, seem like an angry god, and the towns that had developed at his feet would feel his wrath.

Image  from Shutterstock

8 thoughts on “Weekly Word – Quiescent

    1. Thanks, Arv. You are right, quiescent suits the present situation well. I wrote a paragraph about the asymptomatic meaning of this word, but decided on two different uses for my post. Perhaps my original idea might have been more appropriate at the moment.

  1. Another good one! This one’s easy to remember — at least for definition 1, which is what I always think of — because it’s just a fancy way of saying “quiet”. I’d never heard the last definition though, asymptomatic. Apropos, in our current era!

  2. Thanks, Joy. Yes, the usual meanings of this word are easy to remember, and I can see how it can be applied to asymptomatic – a period of showing no symptoms of an illness. As you say, it’s particularly appropriate at this time!

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