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

v stand still

“Industry will stagnate if we do not stimulate our economy”
Type of:
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v cause to stagnate

“There are marshes that stagnate the waters”
Type of:
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v cease to flow; stand without moving

“Stagnat ing waters
“blood stagnates in the capillaries”
Type of:
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v be idle; exist in a changeless situation

“The old man sat and stagnated on his porch”
idle, laze, slug
exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose or out of necessity
do work, work
be employed
show more antonyms...
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
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

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.