If after high school you choose to live in your parents' house, keep the same job, and spend time with the same friends, your mother might worry that you've decided to stagnate, or stop moving forward.

When water stagnates, it stops moving and then sometimes begins to smell bad and attract mosquitoes. Think of a marshy pond or an old puddle. Similarly in the figurative sense, when the economy or society stagnates, it doesn't just sit still, it loses momentum. The word carries with it a negative connotation as something that stagnates really should be moving.

Definitions of stagnate
  1. verb
    stand still
    “Industry will stagnate if we do not stimulate our economy”
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    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  2. verb
    cause to stagnate
    “There are marshes that stagnate the waters”
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    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  3. verb
    cease to flow; stand without moving
    “Stagnat ing waters
    “blood stagnates in the capillaries”
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    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  4. verb
    be idle; exist in a changeless situation
    “The old man sat and stagnated on his porch”
    synonyms: idle, laze, slug
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    exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose or out of necessity
    do work, work
    be employed
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    moon, moon around, moon on
    be idle in a listless or dreamy way
    ride the bench, warm the bench
    be out of the game
    daydream, moon
    have dreamlike musings or fantasies while awake
    bum, bum about, bum around, frig around, loaf, loll, loll around, lounge about, lounge around, waste one's time
    be lazy or idle
    lie about, lie around
    hang around idly
Word Family

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