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3 definitions found
 for latent period
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Latency \La"ten*cy\, n. [See Latent.]
     1. The state or quality of being latent.
        [1913 Webster]
              To simplify the discussion, I shall distinguish
              three degrees of this latency.        --Sir W.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. The time between a stimulus the appearance of the
        response; the time between any causal action and the first
        appearance of the effect. Called also latent period.
     3. Hence: (Med.) The time between exposure to a carcinogen or
        other disease-causing agent and the appearance of the
        consequent disease.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Latent \La"tent\ (l[=a]"tent), a. [L. latens, -entis, p. pr. of
     latere to lie hid or concealed; cf. Gr. lanqa`nein, E.
     lethargy: cf. F. latent.]
     1. Not visible or apparent; hidden; concealed; secret;
        dormant; as, latent springs of action.
        [1913 Webster]
              The evils latent in the most promising contrivances
              are provided for as they arise.       --Burke.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (Med.) Existing but not presenting symptoms; dormant or
        developing; -- of disease, especially infectious diseases;
        as, the latent phase of an infection.
     Latent buds (Bot.), buds which remain undeveloped or
        dormant for a long time, but may eventually 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; the amount of heat required to produce a change of
     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.
            [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  latent period
      n 1: the time that elapses between a stimulus and the response
           to it [syn: reaction time, response time, latency,
           latent period]
      2: the time that elapses before the presence of a disease is
         manifested by symptoms

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