unstable [unstā′bəl]
not stable; specif.,
a) not fixed, firm, or steady; easily upset or unbalanced
b) changeable; variable; fluctuating
c) unreliable; fickle
d) emotionally unsettled
e) Chem. tending to decompose or change into other compounds

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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  • Unstable — Un*sta ble, a. [Cf. {Instable}.] Not stable; not firm, fixed, or constant; subject to change or overthrow. {Un*sta ble*ness}, n. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] {Unstable equilibrium}. See {Stable equilibrium}, under {Stable}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • unstable — index aleatory (uncertain), capricious, dangerous, ephemeral, faithless, fallible, inconsistent, indefi …   Law dictionary

  • unstable — early 13c., apt to move, from UN (Cf. un ) (1) not + STABLE (Cf. stable) (adj.). Cf. M.H.G. unstabel. Meaning liable to fall is recorded from c.1300; sense of fickle is attested from late 13c. An O.E. word for this was feallendlic, which might… …   Etymology dictionary

  • unstable — *inconstant, fickle, capricious, mercurial Analogous words: *changeable, variable, mutable, protean: volatile, effervescent, buoyant, resilient, *elastic Antonyms: stable …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • unstable — is the standard negative form of stable, but the corresponding noun is instability, not un . See in and un …   Modern English usage

  • unstable — / unsteady [adj] doubtful, weak ambiguous, borderline, capricious, changeable, dizzy, dubious, erratic, fickle, fitful, fluctuating, giddy, inconsistent, inconstant, insecure, irrational, lubricious, mercurial, mobile, movable, moving, mutable,… …   New thesaurus

  • unstable — ► ADJECTIVE (unstabler, unstablest) 1) prone to change or collapse; not stable. 2) prone to psychiatric problems or sudden changes of mood …   English terms dictionary

  • unstable — [[t]ʌ̱nste͟ɪb(ə)l[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED You can describe something as unstable if it is likely to change suddenly, especially if this creates difficulty or danger. After the fall of Pitt in 1801 there was a decade of unstable government... The… …   English dictionary

  • unstable — UK [ʌnˈsteɪb(ə)l] / US adjective 1) an unstable person becomes angry or upset often and very suddenly My father wasn t a bad man, but he was emotionally unstable. 2) an unstable government changes often and must deal with a lot of fighting and… …   English dictionary

  • unstable — un|sta|ble [ʌnˈsteıbəl] adj 1.) likely to change suddenly and become worse →↑instability ▪ The political situation is still very unstable. ▪ an unstable relationship 2.) something that is unstable is likely to move or fall 3.) someone who is… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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