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  1. unstable; unsteady.
  2. Physics. having no tendency to take a definite position or direction.

Origin of astatic

1820–30; < Greek ástat(os) not steadfast, unstable (a- a-6 + statós standing) + -ic; see static
Related formsa·stat·i·cal·ly, adverba·stat·i·cism [ey-stat-uh-siz-uh m] /eɪˈstæt əˌsɪz əm/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for astatic

Historical Examples

  • The loafing or astatic mind will fall into morbid tendencies.

    Evening Round Up</p>

    William Crosbie Hunter

  • Astatic, a-stat′ik, adj. having a tendency not to stand still: losing polarity, as a magnetic needle.

  • By arranging two magnetized needles with their poles opposite each other, Fig. 92, an astatic needle is formed.

    Things a Boy Should Know About Electricity</p>

    Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew) St. John

  • Fig. 67 shows an astatic galvanometer for measuring weak currents.

    Things a Boy Should Know About Electricity</p>

    Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew) St. John

  • The ends of the coil are to be connected to an astatic galvanoscope; this forms a closed circuit.

    Things a Boy Should Know About Electricity</p>

    Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew) St. John

British Dictionary definitions for astatic


  1. not static; unstable
  2. physics
    1. having no tendency to assume any particular position or orientation
    2. (of a galvanometer) having two mutually compensating magnets arranged so that the instrument is independent of the earth's magnetic field
Derived Formsastatically, adverbastaticism, noun

Word Origin

C19: from Greek astatos unsteady; see a- 1, static
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for astatic


1827, from Greek astatos "unstable, not steadfast," from a-, privative prefix (see a- (3)), + statos "placed, standing," from PIE root *sta- (see stet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

astatic in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. Relating to astasia.
  2. Unsteady; unstable.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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