What is emergent

Emergent Definition & Meaning | Dictionary.com

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[ ih-mur-juhnt ]

/ ɪˈmɜr dʒənt /

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coming into view or notice; issuing.

emerging; rising from a liquid or other surrounding medium.

coming into existence, especially with political independence: the emergent nations of Africa.

arising casually or unexpectedly.

calling for immediate action; urgent.

Evolution. displaying emergence.


Ecology. an aquatic plant having its stem, leaves, etc., extending above the surface of the water.



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Origin of emergent

1350–1400; Middle English (<Middle French ) <Latin ēmergent- (stem ofēmergēns) arising out of, present participle of ēmergere to emerge


e·mer·gent·ly, adverbe·mer·gent·ness, nounnon·e·mer·gent, adjectivere·e·mer·gent, adjective

un·e·mer·gent, adjective

Words nearby emergent

emergency boat, emergency brake, emergency medical technician, emergency medicine, emergency room, emergent, emergent evolution, emergent norm, emergicenter, emerging, emerging market

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

Words related to emergent

appearing, budding, coming, developing, efflorescent, emanant, emanating, outgoing, rising

How to use emergent in a sentence

  • Throughout the year, with cases staying stubbornly high, doctors warned about the consequences of non-Covid-19 patients were postponing care for chronic or emergent conditions.

    Flattening the curve worked — until it didn’t|Dylan Scott|December 31, 2020|Vox

  • Readily available digital technologies can be used to provide local and remote computing power, enable information retrieval and analysis, and disseminate emergent knowledge.

    Digital Technologies Will Help Build Resilient Communities After the Coronavirus Pandemic|Yolande E. Chan|September 30, 2020|Singularity Hub 

  • In this approach, quantum mechanics is emergent from a deterministic hidden-variables model which acknowledges that everything in the universe is connected with everything else.

    Your Guide to the Many Meanings of Quantum Mechanics - Facts So Romantic|Sabine Hossenfelder|September 3, 2020|Nautilus

  • Names like that emerge in the wave of secondary scholarship reacting to a new idea, and emergent names aren’t always bad.

    Why Mathematicians Should Stop Naming Things After Each Other - Issue 89: The Dark Side|Laura Ball|September 2, 2020|Nautilus

  • To that end, the call to Crusades was possibly an intentional measure taken by the Pope with the aim to politically unite the Eastern Orthodox church with the emergent Catholic church of Europe.

    History of the Crusades: Origins, Politics, and Crusaders|Dattatreya Mandal|March 23, 2020|Realm of History

  • Emergent procedures provide their benefit right away and have the awesome potential to rescue a patient from the brink of death.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Risky Heart Surgery|Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD|November 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • We Could Be King is, of course, part of a larger emergent genre, that of the high school football hagiography.

    Two New Films Preach Our Nation’s Corrosive Gridiron Gospel|Steve Almond|September 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • As with any emergent technology where an action is involved, the brand becomes the verb.

    The Zen of Yo|Dale Eisinger|August 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Her latest book is The New Arab Man: Emergent Masculinities, Technologies and Islam in the Middle East.

    IVF for Just $300 Could Be a Reality Soon|Randi Hutter Epstein|August 31, 2013|DAILY BEAST

  • In his new book, Present Shock, the media theorist Douglas Rushkoff takes a stab at describing an emergent cultural phenomenon.

    Not Much New in Douglas Rushkoff’s Reading of the Future|Jacob Silverman|March 26, 2013|DAILY BEAST

  • Britain is an emergent mass of land rising from a submarine platform that attaches it to the Continent of Europe.

    The Cornwall Coast|Arthur L. Salmon

  • She was to act in the same manner if emergent cases required a prompt decision.

    The Revolt of The Netherlands, Complete|Friedrich Schiller

  • Notopodia reduced to small lobes at base of neuropodia above, these lobes smooth, bearing no emergent setae in the type.

    Journal of Entomology and Zoology, Vol. 11. No. 1.|Various

  • So the burden of national crises is squarely upon the dominant classes who fight so foolishly against the emergent ones.

    A Preface to Politics|Walter Lippmann

  • What if diabolic shapes lurked there, ready to become stealthily emergent?

    The History of Sir Richard Calmady|Lucas Malet

British Dictionary definitions for emergent


/ (ɪˈmɜːdʒənt) /


coming into being or noticean emergent political structure

(of a nation) recently independent


an aquatic plant with stem and leaves above the water

Derived forms of emergent

emergently, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for emergent


[ ĭ-mûr′jənt ]

Rooted below a body of water or in an area that is periodically submerged but extending above the water level. Used of aquatic plants such as cattails, rushes, or cord grass.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Examples of emergent


Two are undergoing or waiting to undergo so-called "emergent repair" maintenance work on structures posing an immediate threat to students.

From Huffington Post