See also: sénescent



From Latin senescens, present participle of senescere (to grow old), from senere (to be old), from senex (old).



senescent (comparative more senescent, superlative most senescent)

  1. Growing old; decaying with the lapse of time.
    • 1859, Edgar Allan Poe, “Ulalume”, in The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe, volume 2:
      And now, as the night was senescent / ⁠And star-dials pointed to morn— / ⁠As the star-dials hinted of morn— / At the end of our path a liquescent / ⁠And nebulous lustre was born
    • 1905 March, Joseph Jastrow, “The Natural History of Adolescence”, in Popular Science Monthly, volume 66:
      The history of philosophic opinion itself in interpreted by Dr. Hall in terms of a similar development, in which immature adolescent systems, staid senescent and blasé philosophies have appeared and appealed to their public in direct relation to the status of the culture-periods in which they found origin and favor.
  2. Characteristic of old age.
  3. (cytology, of a cell) That ceases to divide.
    • 1919, Boris Sidis, The Source and Aim of Human Progress:
      When such lines and forms of organic development prevail, the individual, as the cell of the body, becomes soon senescent, drifting inevitably into age, decay, and death.

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  1. third-person plural future active indicative of senēscō