Skip to Content

Stagnant Definition – Meaning And Usage In A Sentence

Stagnant Definition – Meaning And Usage In A Sentence

Have you ever come across some still and stare water mass that occupies a certain area for quite some time and hardly seems to change. Perhaps you may have wanted to describe what you saw to a friend using one word, but you didn't know the correct word to use. The word you're looking for is stagnant; learn the stagnant definition, meaning, and usage to explore this word.

The word stagnant comes from the word stagnate, which means staying in one place for an extended period. Stagnant refers to something not in any motion over a certain period. In sentences, putrid, dormant, foul, inactive, or dead are synonyms used in place of "stagnant."

Stagnant is a common word in conversations. However, you may be reading this article and not familiar with this word. Worry no more because this article will share the several definitions of the stagnant and elaborate on how to use the word as expected in your writing and speech.

cute writing smileWhat Is The Definition Of Stagnant?

A common definition is "not moving or dormant." That means something is immobile, motionless, and still. When someone or something is standing or in a static motion, stagnant is one of the best words to describe such a state.

Based on the above definition, the word describes something liquid or gas as not flowing or in motion. For instance, use the term stagnant to describe a stationary water mass. "Stagnant water" is the most known application of this word.

But for something to be stagnant, mainly when referring to standing water, it mostly has to accompany an unpleasant smell besides being dormant. A great example of a stagnant body mass is a swamp. 

Note that stagnant doesn't always have to refer to water. Provided something is in an inactive state, the word will apply at ease. Here are some example sentences:

  • I can't believe she bought a house next to that stagnant ditch carrying sewage.
  • Suddenly, a chilling breeze cut through the warm, stagnant air giving relief to the tired hikers.

What's The Relationship Between Stagnant And Growth?

There's a very close relationship between these two words. Stagnant is also used to define something that is not showing any signs of growth or change. Use the word to describe someone who has remained in their current state for quite some time. 

For instance, if you hear someone gets described as stagnant, they are not changing or moving socially, financially, or physically. You've probably heard people use the word when describing the career progression of someone, state of health, performance in academics, and so on.

Here are some sentences with the word stagnant.

  • I'm worried about my friend's stagnant state; she has not improved since she went into a coma.
  • Mercy told Eddy that she felt he had remained stagnant in their relationship, forcing her to get a divorce.

What Is The Meaning Of Stagnant?

Stagnant describes something that is not active; it can be dormant or sluggish. This definition best describes a once active object that has remained inactive for a while. When something turns to be inactive suddenly, some factors creep in. Maybe it's due to injuries or a bad market or economic force like inflation.

For instance, a wall clock working previously but not currently is stagnant. It means the clock is in a state that doesn't allow it to function like before; it could be due to some mechanical issues. Another example is a stagnant market or economy. Such an economy doesn't grow. There might be poor money circulation or a risky environment that keeps investors away.

Here are some example sentences:

  • The Greece economy had, for some time, become stagnant, prompting action from the European Union.
  • My grandmother always said that a man with a stagnant mind would never accomplish anything.

Does Stagnant Show Inactivity?

The answer is a resounding yes! The word stagnant is at times used to describe something showing little to no activity. You can describe something as stagnant if it has little to no change or has no energy, force, or vitality. 

In this case, something stagnant has no forcefulness. You'll realize that this stagnant definition applies in many contexts. But before you use the word to mean inactivity, make sure you understand your audience because a slight mistake will trigger a misunderstanding.

Here are some example sentences:

  • When I asked for the car keys, she gave me the keys to a stagnant Cadillac parked on her driveway.
  • Daniel soon discovered that his ideas were no longer welcome where people were okay with things remaining stagnant.

How To Use Stagnant In A Sentence

The word "stagnant" is an adjective but also exists as a noun and adverb when in different word forms. That means that the word is used in different situations.

As a Noun

Stagnant changes to "stagnation" when using the word as a noun. It describes the state or quality of being inactive or without circulation. The word stagnation is derived from stagnant and is used in economics to explain slow economic growth.

Here are some example sentences:

  • We are happy to report that the economy has shown signs of recovery after years of stagnation.
  • Had Japan gone into a period of stagnation after the Second World War, it could not have grown into the economic giant we know today.

As An Adverb

The word changes to stagnantly when used as an adverb. As an adverb, it describes how something has remained inactive or dormant for a short or long period.

Here are some example sentences:

  • After the torrential rain stopped, water puddles stood stagnantly over the driveway.
  • Do not sit stagnantly waiting for unfavorable situations to change themselves magically.

As An Adjective

When used as an adjective, the word stagnant describes the noun. The words stagnative, stagnated, or stagnating are also adjective forms of the word stagnant.

Here are some example sentences:

  • It has been scientifically proven that stagnant water bodies are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • My father bought an engine for his Corvette that has been stagnant for the last ten years.

10 Examples Of Stagnant In A Sentence

The following ten sentences show you how to use the word stagnant and its various forms correctly in different scenarios. These sentences have incorporated the word as a noun, adverb, and adjective and are great for practicing. Have a look!

  1. Trae's school is next to that stagnant pool of water with a foul smell that causes him breathing complications.
  2. The area under excavation is characterized by salt lakes and stagnant mashes sited in wide-open spaces.
  3. Contrary to the mountain pools that hold life, the stagnant ponds in the valleys do not have any living organisms.
  4. South Sudan's economy is finally shaping after decades of stagnation brought about by constant civil war.
  5. The bear and I stared stagnantly at each other before I gathered the courage to run away.
  6. It's no use showing them your designs because they're okay with how stagnant things are at the company.
  7. Pierce did not want to become stagnant at his job at Walmart, so he quit and started his own business.
  8. I think it's time that we address the stagnation the Indiana Pacers and the Utah Jazz are experiencing.
  9. It's a well-known fact that salt is harvested from stagnant lakes and specific parts of the desert.
  10. I bet she got mugged while walking down the alley with trash and foul-smelling stagnant water.

How Do You Spell Stagnant?

The correct stagnant spelling is s.t.a.g.n.a.n.t.

How Do You Pronounce Stagnant?

Pronounce the word stagnant as [stag. nuhnt].

If you want to learn how to pronounce any word correctly, start by looking it up on the internet and listening to how an expert says it. Pay close attention to the areas the expert stressed certain syllables of the word. Next, practice pronouncing the word and referring back to the video or audio whenever you experience any challenges.

Synonyms Of The Word "Stagnant"

  • immobile
  • moveless
  • stuck
  • frozen
  • standing

Antonyms Of The Word "Stagnant"

  • moving
  • unsteady
  • running
  • adjustable
  • mobile

How Many Syllables Are In Stagnant?

The term stagnant has two syllables; stag.nant.

Keep reading: Whether Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

History & Etymology of Stagnant

The word stagnant originates from the word stagnate, which first existed as a Latin word stagnatum, and stagnare, which refers to standing water, swamp, or pool.

The word stagnant also comes from the French stagnant, used in the 1660s. And from the Latin stagnant, which meant without movement. These words were initially used to describe water bodies that had remained unchanged. The word stagnant also has Greek roots stazein, which means to drip or ooze. The Greek meaning is no longer used today.

men at park writingWhen Was Stagnant First Used?

1610 is the recorded year when the word stagnant was first used in the English language.


Using the word stagnant in your sentences correctly is now easy once you're familiar with its various definitions and uses. For best results, keep practicing using the word in your daily written and spoken conversations. However, if you want to clarify anything about this word, don't hesitate to do more research on the stagnant definition and usage; refer to this article too for clarification.

Also read: