Something immanent is inherent in and spread throughout something else — it's innate, intrinsic and inborn. Philosophers might debate about whether generosity is an immanent trait or something that people are taught.

In addition to referring to something inherent or intrinsic, the word immanent can also describe something that is totally mental. Both meanings of this word have to do with internal things. Sometimes, immanent means a quality that is essential to something. Psychologists claim the need to love and be loved is an immanent trait of human beings — we all have it. Some people think there is an immanent spirit or force in nature. Also, immanent things are ideas and feelings that only exist in your mind — they remain within. If you keep your ideas to yourself, they’re immanent.

Definitions of immanent
  1. adjective
    of qualities that are spread throughout something
    “ambition is immanent in human nature”
    “we think of God as immanent in nature”
    serving to distribute or allot or disperse
  2. adjective
    of a mental act performed entirely within the mind
    “a cognition is an immanent act of mind”
    synonyms: subjective
    see moresee less
    transeunt, transient
    of a mental act; causing effects outside the mind
Commonly confused words

eminent / imminent / immanent

No, it's not the name of the latest rapper from Detroit, but it could describe one — eminent describes anyone who's famous. Imminent refers to something about to happen. And anything immanent (with an "a" in there) is inherent, like that good attitude you were born with.

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