(La"tent) a. [L. latens, -entis, p. pr. of latere to lie hid or concealed; cf. Gr. lanqa`nein, E. lethargy: cf.
F. latent.] Not visible or apparent; hidden; concealed; secret; dormant; as, latent springs of action.
The evils latent in the most promising contrivances are provided for as they arise.Burke. Latent buds (Bot.), buds which remain undeveloped or dormant for a long time, but may at length
grow. Latent heat (Physics), that quantity of heat which disappears or becomes concealed in a body
while producing some change in it other than rise of temperature, as fusion, evaporation, or expansion,
the quantity being constant for each particular body and for each species of change. Latent period.
(a) (Med.) The regular time in which a disease is supposed to be existing without manifesting itself.
(b) (Physiol.) One of the phases in a simple muscular contraction, in which invisible preparatory changes
are taking place in the nerve and muscle. (c) (Biol.) One of those periods or resting stages in the
development of the ovum, in which development is arrested prior to renewed activity.
(La"tent*ly), adv. In a secret or concealed manner; invisibly.
(||La"ter) n.; pl. Lateres [L.] A brick or tile. Knight.
(Lat"er) a. Compar. of Late, a. & adv.
(Lat"er*ad) adv. [L. latus, lateris, side + ad to.] (Anat.) Toward the side; away from the mesial
plane; opposed to mesiad.
(Lat"er*al) a. [L. lateralis, fr. latus, lateris, side: cf. F. latéral.]
1. Of or pertaining to the sides; as, the lateral walls of a house; the lateral branches of a tree.
2. (Anat.) Lying at, or extending toward, the side; away from the mesial plane; external; opposed to
3. Directed to the side; as, a lateral view of a thing.
Lateral cleavage (Crystallog.), cleavage parallel to the lateral planes. Lateral equation (Math.),
an equation of the first degree. [Obs.] Lateral line (Anat.), in fishes, a line of sensory organs along
either side of the body, often marked by a distinct line of color. Lateral pressure or stress (Mech.),
a pressure or stress at right angles to the length, as of a beam or bridge; distinguished from longitudinal
pressure or stress. Lateral strength (Mech.), strength which resists a tendency to fracture arising
from lateral pressure. Lateral system (Bridge Building), the system of horizontal braces (as between
two vertical trusses) by which lateral stiffness is secured.
(Lat`er*al"i*ty) n. The state or condition of being lateral.
(Lat"er*al*ly) adv. By the side; sidewise; toward, or from, the side.
(Lat"er*an) n. The church and palace of St. John Lateran, the church being the cathedral church
of Rome, and the highest in rank of all churches in the Catholic world.
The name is said to have been derived from that of the Laterani family, who possessed a palace on or
near the spot where the church now stands. In this church several ecclesiastical councils, hence called
Lateran councils, have been held.
(Lat"ered) a. Inclined to delay; dilatory. [Obs.] "When a man is too latered." Chaucer.
(Lat`er*i*fo"li*ous) a. [L. latus, lateris, side + folium leaf: cf. F. latérifolié.] (Bot.) Growing
from the stem by the side of a leaf; as, a laterifolious flower.
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