[ ley-buh l, -bahyl ]
/ ˈleɪ bəl, -baɪl /


apt or likely to change.
Chemistry. (of a compound) capable of changing state or becoming inactive when subjected to heat or radiation.

Nearby words

  1. labialized,
  2. labially,
  3. labiate,
  4. labiche,
  5. labiche, eugène marin,
  6. lability,
  7. labilize,
  8. labio-,
  9. labiocervical,
  10. labiochorea

Origin of labile

1400–50; late Middle English labyl < Late Latin lābilis, equivalent to Latin lāb(ī) to slip + -ilis -ile

Related formsla·bil·i·ty [luh-bil-i-tee, ley-] /ləˈbɪl ɪ ti, leɪ-/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for labile

British Dictionary definitions for labile


/ (ˈleɪbɪl) /


chem (of a compound) prone to chemical change
liable to change or move
Derived Formslability (ləˈbɪlɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for labile

C15: via Late Latin lābilis, from Latin lābī to slide, slip

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

Medicine definitions for labile


[ lābīl′, -bəl ]


Receptive to change; adaptable.
Constantly undergoing or likely to undergo change, as a chemical compound; unstable.
Related formsla•bili•ty (-bĭlĭ-tē) n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.