- not likely to fall or give way, as a structure, support, foundation, etc.; firm; steady.
- able or likely to continue or last; firmly established; enduring or permanent: a stable government.
- resistant to sudden change or deterioration: A stable economy is the aim of every government.
- steadfast; not wavering or changeable, as in character or purpose; dependable.
- not subject to emotional instability or illness; sane; mentally sound.
- Physics. having the ability to react to a disturbing force by maintaining or reestablishing position, form, etc.
- Chemistry. not readily decomposing, as a compound; resisting molecular or chemical change.
- (of a patient's condition) exhibiting no significant change.
Origin of stable2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a building, usually consisting of stalls, for the lodging of horses or other livestock
- the animals lodged in such a building, collectively
- the racehorses belonging to a particular establishment or owner
- the establishment itself
- (as modifier)stable companion
- informal a source of training, such as a school, theatre, etcthe two athletes were out of the same stable
- a number of people considered as a source of a particular talenta stable of writers
- (modifier) of, relating to, or suitable for a stablestable manners
- to put, keep, or be kept in a stable
- steady in position or balance; firm
- lasting or permanenta stable relationship
- steadfast or firm of purpose
- (of an elementary particle, atomic nucleus, etc) not undergoing decay; not radioactivea stable nuclide
- (of a chemical compound) not readily partaking in a chemical change
- (of electronic equipment) with no tendency to self-oscillation
Word Origin and History for stableness
"building where horses or cows are kept," early 13c., "building for domestic animals," from Old French estable "a stable, stall" (also applied to cowsheds and pigsties), from Latin stabulum "a stall, fold, aviary, etc." literally "a standing place," from stem of stare "to stand" (see stet).
Meaning "collection of horses belonging to one stable is attested from 1570s; transferred sense of "group of fighters under same management" is from 1897; that of "group of prostitutes working for the same employer" is from 1937.
For what the grete Stiede
Is stole, thanne he taketh hiede,
And makth the stable dore fast.
[John Gower, "Confessio Amantis," 1390]
"steadfast, firm," mid-13c., from Old French estable, from Latin stabilis "firm, steadfast," literally "able to stand," from stem of stare "to stand" (see stet). Physical sense of "secure against falling" is recorded from late 14c. Of nuclear isotopes, from 1904.
"to put (a horse) in a stable," early 14c., from stable (n.). Related: Stabled; stabling.
- Resistant to change of position or condition.
- Not subject to mental illness or irrationality.
- Having no known mode of decay; indefinitely long-lived. Used of atomic particles.
- Not easily decomposed or otherwise modified chemically.
- Not susceptible to a process of decay, such as radioactivity. For example, the most common isotope of carbon, carbon 12, is stable. Protons and photons are examples of stable subatomic particles. See more at decay.
- Relating to a chemical compound that does not easily decompose or change into other compounds. Water is an example of a stable compound.
- Relating to an atom or chemical element that is unlikely to share electrons with another atom or element.
- Not likely to change significantly or to deteriorate suddenly, as an individual's medical condition.