unstable

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

un- +‎ stable

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

unstable (comparative more unstable, superlative most unstable)

  1. Having a strong tendency to change.
    • 2013 August 3, “Yesterday’s fuel”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8847: 
      The dawn of the oil age was fairly recent. Although the stuff was used to waterproof boats in the Middle East 6,000 years ago, extracting it in earnest began only in 1859 after an oil strike in Pennsylvania. [] It was used to make kerosene, the main fuel for artificial lighting after overfishing led to a shortage of whale blubber. Other liquids produced in the refining process, too unstable or smoky for lamplight, were burned or dumped.
  2. Fluctuating; not constant.
  3. Fickle.
  4. Unpredictable.
  5. (chemistry) Readily decomposable.
  6. (physics) Radioactive, especially with a short half-life.

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