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I found this sentence in usage sentences of idiom "lie dormant". What is its meaning? Can anyone explain

Her talent might have lain dormant had it not been for her aunt's encouragement.

Source: Cambridge Dictionary Online

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    This is a metaphorical use of dormant, which etymologically and literally means "sleeping". The dictionary you link defines the metaphorical meaning--what do you not understand? – StoneyB Aug 10 '17 at 21:54
  • I don't understand the literal MEANING of sentence. – FanBoy Aug 10 '17 at 21:57
  • One common use of "dormant" is in describing a volcano. A volcano that stops being dormant erupts! Just like a dormant volcano, her talents were quiet, and might have stayed that way...but her Aunt encouraged her, and so she erupted (metaphorically) into a spectacular display of talent. – user11628 Aug 10 '17 at 22:02
  • Its literal meaning is that her talent would remained sleeping--that is, would never have become evident in her life. – StoneyB Aug 10 '17 at 22:07

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