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See also: émergent


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See emerge, emergency.



emergent (comparative more emergent, superlative most emergent)

  1. Emerging; coming into view or into existence; nascent; new.
  2. Arising unexpectedly, especially if also calling for immediate reaction.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. (especially medicine) Constituting an emergency.
    • 1987, Navy Medicine, page 8:
      Therefore, patients with ulcerative colitis should ideally be treated before they become emergent cases with toxic megacolon or perforation of the colon.
    • 2001, Christopher Hillyer; Krista L. Hillyer; Frank Strobl; Leigh Jefferies; Leslie Silberstein, Handbook of Transfusion Medicine, Academic Press, →ISBN, page 206:
      Bleeding manifestations in chronic DIC are more subacute than in acute DIC, but may become emergent as DIC progresses.
    • 2017, A. Joseph Layon; Andrea Gabrielli; Mihae Yu; Kenneth E. Wood, Civetta, Taylor, & Kirby's Critical Care Medicine, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, →ISBN:
      As a rule, esophageal disorders become emergent when the airway is compromised either by the initial insult or by a high risk of aspiration.
    • 2019, Walter R. Frontera; Joel A. DeLisa; Bruce M. Gans; Lawrence R. Robinson, DeLisa's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Principles and Practice, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, →ISBN:
      Before communication and cognition impair decision-making, and before the medical needs for interventions become emergent, advance decisions about nutrition and ventilation must be discussed.
  4. (botany) Taller than the surrounding vegetation.
  5. (botany, of a water-dwelling plant) Having leaves and flowers above the water.
  6. (video games) Having gameplay that arises from its mechanics, rather than a linear storyline.
    • 2008, Jim Rossignol, This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities (page 126)
      In short, emergent games are ones that allow a huge range of possibilities and don't dictate a strict, linear flow of events. A strategy game is emergent because so many units can interact and have some effect on each other.
  7. (philosophy, sciences) Having properties as a whole that are more complex than the properties contributed by each of the components individually.
    • 2008, David J. Chalmers, “Strong and Weak Emergence”, in Philip Clayton; Paul Davies, editor, The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion, →DOI:
      A high-level phenomenon is strongly emergent with respect to a low-level domain when the high-level phenomenon arises from the low-level domain, but truths concerning that phenomenon are not deducible even in principle from truths in the low-level domain. [] A high-level phenomenon is weakly emergent with respect to a low-level domain when the high-level phenomenon arises from the low-level domain, but truths concerning that phenomenon are unexpected given the principles governing the low-level domain.

Derived terms[edit]



emergent (plural emergents)

  1. (botany) A plant whose root system grows underwater, but whose shoot, leaves and flowers grow up and above the water.


  • emergent at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • emergent in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911



  • IPA(key): [emɛʁˈɡɛnt]
  • Hyphenation: emer‧gent
  • (file)


emergent (strong nominative masculine singular emergenter, not comparable)

  1. emergent


Further reading[edit]

  • emergent” in Duden online
  • emergent” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache




  1. third-person plural future active indicative of ēmergō



From French émergent, from Latin emergens.


emergent m or n (feminine singular emergentă, masculine plural emergenți, feminine and neuter plural emergente)

  1. emergent