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Word of the Day - "quiescent"

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quiescent \kwee-EH-sunt\ adjective
     : marked by inactivity or repose : tranquilly at rest
     : causing no trouble or symptoms

Example usage:
     The comet, normally a quiescent body of ice and dust as it exits the solar spotlight, suddenly appeared 300 times as bright as predicted. (Science News, October 12, 1991)

     % kill -3 <pid> does a quiescent shutdown of the process.

Etymology:
     "Quiescent" won't cause you any pain, and neither will its synonyms, "latent," "dormant," and "potential," at least not immediately. All four words mean "not now showing signs of activity or existence." "Latent" usually applies to something that is present but hasn't yet fully come forth, as in "a latent desire for success." "Dormant" implies a state of inactivity similar to sleep, as in "passions that have lain dormant." "Potential" applies to what may or may not come to be. "A potential disaster" is a typical example.

     "Quiescent," which traces to the Latin "quiescere" (meaning "to become quiet" or"to rest"), often suggests a temporary cessation of activity, as in "a quiescent disease" or "a summer resort quiescent in wintertime."


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