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[myoo-tuh-buh l] /ˈmyu tə bəl/
liable or subject to change or alteration.
given to changing; constantly changing; fickle or inconstant:
the mutable ways of fortune.
Origin of mutable
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin mūtābilis, equivalent to mūtā(re) to change + -bilis -ble
Related forms
mutability, mutableness, noun
mutably, adverb
hypermutability, noun
hypermutable, adjective
hypermutableness, noun
hypermutably, adverb
nonmutability, noun
nonmutable, adjective
nonmutableness, noun
nonmutably, adverb
unmutable, adjective
1. changeable, variable. 2. unstable, vacillating, unsettled, wavering, unsteady.
2. stable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mutable
Historical Examples
  • Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Too bright—too mutable," answered the doctor, shaking his head.

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
  • Caius did not attempt to carve his inscription on the mutable sandstone.

    The Mermaid

    Lily Dougall
  • Something permanent in the midst of all that is mutable we may expect to find here.

    Homer's Odyssey Denton J. Snider
  • By changing the initial to the second state, if it is mutable.

  • Centuries are mutable, but prejudices never alter in the Colonies.

    Acadia Frederic S. Cozzens
  • In these changeful times, the history of the Inquisition is not the least mutable.

  • They are the great unwashed, the mutable many, the common people.

    Old Junk H. M. Tomlinson
  • There is no magic in it, only a little knowledge of the secrets, mutable yet immutable, of Nature.

    HE Andrew Lang
  • And in mutable or doubtful cases, a resolution may be changed, when a vow cannot.

    A Christian Directory Baxter Richard
British Dictionary definitions for mutable


able to or tending to change
(astrology) of or relating to four of the signs of the zodiac, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, which are associated with the quality of adaptability Compare cardinal (sense 9), fixed (sense 10)
Derived Forms
mutability, (rare) mutableness, noun
mutably, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin mūtābilis fickle, from mūtāre to change
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
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Word Origin and History for mutable

late 14c., "liable to change," from Latin mutabilis "changeable," from mutare "to change," from PIE root *mei- "to change, go, move" (cf. Sanskrit methati "changes, alternates, joins, meets;" Avestan mitho "perverted, false;" Hittite mutai- "be changed into;" Latin meare "to go, pass," migrare "to move from one place to another;" Old Church Slavonic mite "alternately;" Czech mijim "to go by, pass by," Polish mijać "avoid;" Gothic maidjan "to change"); with derivatives referring to the exchange of goods and services as regulated by custom or law (cf. Latin mutuus "done in exchange," munus "service performed for the community, duty, work").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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