Dictionary.com

metastable

[ met-uh-stey-buhl, met-uh-stey- ]
/ ˈmɛt əˌsteɪ bəl, ˌmɛt əˈsteɪ- /
Save This Word!

adjective

Metallurgy. chemically unstable in the absence of certain conditions that would induce stability, but not liable to spontaneous transformation.
Also labile. Physics, Chemistry. pertaining to a body or system existing at an energy level (metastable state ) above that of a more stable state and requiring the addition of a small amount of energy to induce a transition to the more stable state.

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Origin of metastable

First recorded in 1895–1900; meta- + stable2

OTHER WORDS FROM metastable

met·a·sta·bil·i·ty [met-uh-stuh-bil-i-tee], /ˌmɛt ə stəˈbɪl ɪ ti/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for metastable

British Dictionary definitions for metastable

metastable
/ (ˌmɛtəˈsteɪbəl) physics /

adjective

(of a body or system) having a state of apparent equilibrium although capable of changing to a more stable state
(of an atom, molecule, ion, or atomic nucleus) existing in an excited state with a relatively long lifetime

noun

a metastable atom, ion, molecule, or nucleus

Derived forms of metastable

metastability, noun
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
Book Your Online Tutor Now