View synonyms for instability


[ in-stuh-bil-i-tee ]


  1. the quality or state of being unstable; lack of stability or firmness.
  2. the tendency to behave in an unpredictable, changeable, or erratic manner:

    emotional instability.


/ ˌɪnstəˈbɪlɪtɪ /


  1. lack of stability or steadiness
  2. tendency to variable or unpredictable behaviour
  3. physics a fast growing disturbance or wave in a plasma
“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 History and Origins

Origin of instability1

1375–1425; late Middle English instabilite < Latin instabilitās. See in- 3, stability
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Example Sentences

A recession in 1970-71, followed by the oil crisis and the subsequent drop in the value of the stock market a few years later, heightened feelings of economic and cultural instability across the country.

America is part of the first world, where political violence and economic instability do not occur.

You can also buy a frame for your yoga ball chair for times when you want a little less instability.

Maryland has a rocky history at that position, which has been plagued by injuries and instability.

It is hard to determine how big of an impact this will make beforehand, but you should expect some instability.

The grim instability of shelter life is hardly a recipe for success under the best of circumstances.

Sudan has been plagued by years of political instability, which has prevented tourism from gaining traction.

Paul will argue that such military force does little to combat the issues at the heart of instability.

This conquest has brought instability to unexpected parts of the region.

The elections brought instead of stability, instability to Afghanistan,” said this official, “and it will never end.

The recognition did not lessen the reality, the poignancy of the revelation by any suggestion or promise of instability.

But his record shows grievous instability, and Robert probably had sound reasons for putting a period to his dubieties.

Hence their moral instability can not be associated with physiological instability in the absolute sense.

The instability of ammonium hydroxide is used as a means for detecting ammonium-ion in its salts.

There was a servile hump to his shoulders; a deprecating instability in his glance greeted the boy.





insta-instability line