dor·mant / ˈdôrmənt/ • adj. (of an animal) having normal physical functions suspended or slowed down for a period of time; in or as if in a deep sleep: dormant butterflies | fig. the event evoked memories that she would rather had lain dormant. ∎ (of a plant or bud) alive but not actively growing. ∎ (of a volcano) temporarily inactive. ∎ (of a disease) causing no symptoms but not cured and liable to recur. ∎ Heraldry (of an animal) depicted lying with its head on its paws. DERIVATIVES: dor·man·cy n.
So dormer projecting vertical window in a sloping roof (orig. dormitory window). XVI. — OF. dormeor. dormitory XV. — L. dormītōrium, sb. use of n. of dormītōrius, f. dormīt-, pp. stem of dormīre sleep. dorter, dortour (hist.) dormitory (e.g. of a monastery). XIII. — OF. dortour (mod. dortoir) :- L. dormītōrium.
Latent; inactive; silent. That which is dormant is not used, asserted, or enforced.
A dormant partner is a member of a partnership who has a financial interest yet is silent, in that he or she takes no control over the business. The partner's identity is secret because the individual is unknown to the public.