present but not visible, apparent, or actualized; existing as potential:latent ability.
Pathology(of an infectious agent or disease) remaining in an inactive or hidden phase; dormant.
Psychologyexisting in unconscious or dormant form but potentially able to achieve expression:a latent emotion.
Botany(of buds that are not externally manifest) dormant or undeveloped.
Latin latent- (stem of latēns) present participle of latēre to lie hidden; see -ent
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged dormant, quiescent, veiled, Latent,potential refer to powers or possibilities existing but hidden or not yet actualized. Latent emphasizes the hidden character or the dormancy of what is named:latent qualities, defects, diseases.That which is potential exists in an as yet undeveloped state, but is thought of as capable of coming into full being or activity at some future time:potential genius, tragedy.Potential may be applied also to tangibles:High-tension wires are a potential source of danger.
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged open, active.