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Hidden; concealed; that which does not appear upon the face of an item.

For example, a latent defect in the title to a parcel of real property is one that is not discoverable by an inspection of the title made with ordinary care. Similarly, a latent defect in an item of merchandise is one that could not have been discovered by any known or customary inspection or test.


adjective abditus, arcane, behind the scenes, below the surface, camouflaged, concealed, covered, covert, delitescent, hidden from view, indiscernible, occultus, screened, submerged, under the surface, underlying, undetected, undeveloped, undiscovered, unexposed, unnoticed, unseen, unsuspected, veiled
Associated concepts: latent ambiguity, latent danger, latent defect, latent injury, latent liability
See also: blind, concealed, covert, dormant, hidden, inactive, potential, secret, underlying, undisclosed

LATENT, construction. That which is concealed; or which does not appear; for example, if a testator bequeaths to his cousin Peter his white horse; and at the time of making his will and at his death he had two cousins named Peter, and he owned two white horses, the ambiguity in this case would be latent, both as respects the legatee, and the thing bequeathed. Vide Bac. Max. Reg. 23, and article Ambiguity. A latent ambiguity can only be made to appear by parol evidence, and may be explained by the same kind of proof. 5 Co. 69.

References in classic literature ?
The existence of this latent knowledge is further proved by the interrogation of one of Meno's slaves, who, in the skilful hands of Socrates, is made to acknowledge some elementary relations of geometrical figures.
A person may have some skill or latent experience which he is able to use himself and is yet unable to teach others, because he has no principles, and is incapable of collecting or arranging his ideas.
Modern philosophy says that all things in nature are dependent on one another; the ancient philosopher had the same truth latent in his mind when he affirmed that out of one thing all the rest may be recovered.
Characteristic also of the temper of the Socratic enquiry is, (4) the proposal to discuss the teachableness of virtue under an hypothesis, after the manner of the mathematicians; and (5) the repetition of the favourite doctrine which occurs so frequently in the earlier and more Socratic Dialogues, and gives a colour to all of them--that mankind only desire evil through ignorance; (6) the experiment of eliciting from the slave-boy the mathematical truth which is latent in him, and (7) the remark that he is all the better for knowing his ignorance.
But they are not explained, unless with extreme artificiality, by any theory which regards the latent effects of experience as psychical rather than physical.
Yet her engaging face, being an open as well as a perceptive one, was not without her husband's latent smile.
The rain, which has been endurable enough for the walk or ride one way, is sure to become so heavy, and at the same time so certain to clear up by and by, that nothing but an open quarrel can abbreviate the visit; latent detestation will not do at all.
No, nothing," said Maggie, rousing her latent will.
It is worthy of remark, too, as illustrating a little feature in the character of Miss Sally Brass, that, although on her own account she would have borne the discomforts of the Wilderness with a very ill grace, and would probably, indeed, have walked off before the tea appeared, she no sooner beheld the latent uneasiness and misery of her brother than she developed a grim satisfaction, and began to enjoy herself after her own manner.
Japan's six biggest banking groups saw their latent profit on shareholdings plunging by 4.
ARCADIA -- Bobby Frankel, winning at his customary rate of 23 percent this year, had just won the $250,000 Grade I Malibu Stakes with Latent Heat on Tuesday during opening day of Santa Anita when someone asked the Hall of Fame trainer about closing in on the legendary Charlie Whittingham for most victories at the track.
Specifically, the third section, Models for Categorical Data, includes chapters on trends in categorical data analysis; ordinal regression models; latent class models; and discrete-time survival analysis.