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[stey-buh-lahy-zer] /ˈsteɪ bəˌlaɪ zər/
a person or thing that stabilizes.
Aeronautics. a device for stabilizing an aircraft, as the fixed, horizontal tail surface on an airplane.
  1. a mechanical device for counteracting the roll of a vessel, consisting of a pair of retractable fins so pivoted as to oppose a downward force with an upward one, and vice versa.
  2. a gyrostabilizer.
any of various substances added to foods, chemical compounds, etc., to prevent deterioration, the breaking down of an emulsion, or the loss of desirable properties.
any compound that, when included with an explosive, decreases the ability of the latter to decompose spontaneously.
a substance, as beeswax or aluminum stearate, added to a fast-drying oil paint to improve the dispersion of pigment.
a comparatively large shock absorber for motor vehicles.
  1. any of various devices or systems that keep a gun mounted on a moving ship, tank, or plane automatically aimed at its target.
  2. any of various mechanical devices, such as fins, or electronic systems that keep a shell, bomb, rocket, etc., aligned with its target.
Navy. any of various devices or systems used to keep a submarine or a torpedo at the proper depth or in the proper position.
Origin of stabilizer
First recorded in 1905-10; stabilize + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for stabilizer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In practice the stabilizer is often set at no angle of incidence.

  • I rolled the stabilizer, and that enabled me to pull the nose up.

    Test Pilot David Goodger (
  • Centralite: not an explosive but a stabilizer and regulator.

  • She's a bit out of control, but the stabilizer will keep her on a level keel.

    Tom Swift and his Air Scout Victor Appleton
  • Another cut a main spar on one of my wings, and another hit my stabilizer, tearing it half in two.

    America's War for Humanity Thomas Herbert Russell
  • Such decrease applies to both main surface and stabilizer, since both are fixed rigidly to the aeroplane.

  • Far across the field, a slender, needle-nosed ship stood poised on her stabilizer fins ready for flight.

    Treachery in Outer Space Carey Rockwell and Louis Glanzman
  • He and the three cadets stared out at a small metallic boxlike object attached to the underside of the stabilizer fin.

    The Revolt on Venus Carey Rockwell
  • Before their eyes they saw the stabilizer fin melt and curl under the intense heat of the bomb.

    The Revolt on Venus Carey Rockwell
British Dictionary definitions for stabilizer


any device for stabilizing an aircraft See also horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer
a substance added to something to maintain it in a stable or unchanging state, such as an additive to food to preserve its texture during distribution and storage
  1. a system of one or more pairs of fins projecting from the hull of a ship and controllable to counteract roll
  2. See gyrostabilizer
either of a pair of brackets supporting a small wheel that can be fitted to the back wheel of a bicycle to help an inexperienced cyclist to maintain balance
an electronic device for producing a direct current supply of constant voltage
(economics) a measure, such as progressive taxation, interest-rate control, or unemployment benefit, used to restrict swings in prices, employment, production, etc, in a free economy
a person or thing that stabilizes
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 stabilizer

1909 in aeronautical sense, agent noun from stabilize (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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