ETYM From Dormant.
In botany, a phase of reduced physiological activity exhibited by certain buds, seeds, and spores. Dormancy can help a plant to survive unfavorable conditions, as in annual plants that pass the cold winter season as dormant seeds, and plants that form dormant buds.
For various reasons many seeds exhibit a period of dormancy even when conditions are favorable for growth. Sometimes this dormancy can be broken by artificial methods, such as penetrating the seed coat to facilitate the uptake of water (chitting) or exposing the seed to light. Other seeds require a period of after-ripening.
In the UK, state of a peerage or baronetcy when it is believed that heirs to the title exist, but their whereabouts are unknown. This sometimes occurs when a senior line dies out and a cadet line has long since gone abroad.
A state of quiet (but possibly temporary) inaction; SYN. quiescence, quiescency.