labile

[ ley-bahyl, -buhl ]

adjective
  1. apt or likely to change: the labile nature of language.

  2. (in chemistry, biology, psychiatry, etc.) able or likely to change or break down easily, rapidly, or continually; unstable: labile emotions;labile blood pressure;cellular functions that seem to require different levels of labile zinc.

Origin of labile

1
First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English labil “(of the mind) wandering, forgetful,” from Latin lābilis “sliding, slipping, (of verse) smooth-flowing,” equivalent to Latin lāb(ī) “to slip” + -ilis -ile

Other words from labile

  • la·bil·i·ty [luh-bil-i-tee, ley-], /ləˈbɪl ɪ ti, leɪ-/, noun

Words Nearby labile

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use labile in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for labile

labile

/ (ˈleɪbɪl) /


adjective
  1. chem (of a compound) prone to chemical change

  2. liable to change or move

Origin of labile

1
C15: via Late Latin lābilis, from Latin lābī to slide, slip

Derived forms of labile

  • lability (ləˈbɪlɪtɪ), noun

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