Origin of stabling

First recorded in 1475–85; stable1 + -ing1


  1. a building for the lodging and feeding of horses, cattle, etc.
  2. such a building with stalls.
  3. a collection of animals housed in such a building.
  4. Horse Racing.
    1. an establishment where racehorses are kept and trained.
    2. the horses belonging to, or the persons connected with, such an establishment.
  5. Informal.
    1. a number of people, usually in the same profession, who are employed, trained, or represented by the same company, agency, manager, etc.: a comedy show with a large stable of writers.
    2. the establishment that trains or manages such a group of people: two boxers from the same stable.
    3. a collection of items produced by or belonging to an establishment, industry, profession, or the like: The American auto industry has some new small cars in its stable.
verb (used with object), sta·bled, sta·bling.
  1. to put or lodge in or as if in a stable.
verb (used without object), sta·bled, sta·bling.
  1. to live in or as if in a stable.

Origin of stable

1200–50; Middle English stable < Old French estable < Latin stabulum standing room, equivalent to sta-, stem of stāre to stand + -bulum noun suffix denoting place
Related formssta·ble·like, adjectiveun·sta·bled, adjective

Synonyms for stable

1. barn, mews. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stabling

Historical Examples of stabling

British Dictionary definitions for stabling


  1. stable buildings or accommodation


  1. a building, usually consisting of stalls, for the lodging of horses or other livestock
  2. the animals lodged in such a building, collectively
    1. the racehorses belonging to a particular establishment or owner
    2. the establishment itself
    3. (as modifier)stable companion
  3. informal a source of training, such as a school, theatre, etcthe two athletes were out of the same stable
  4. a number of people considered as a source of a particular talenta stable of writers
  5. (modifier) of, relating to, or suitable for a stablestable manners
  1. to put, keep, or be kept in a stable

Word Origin for stable

C13: from Old French estable cowshed, from Latin stabulum shed, from stāre to stand


  1. steady in position or balance; firm
  2. lasting or permanenta stable relationship
  3. steadfast or firm of purpose
  4. (of an elementary particle, atomic nucleus, etc) not undergoing decay; not radioactivea stable nuclide
  5. (of a chemical compound) not readily partaking in a chemical change
  6. (of electronic equipment) with no tendency to self-oscillation
Derived Formsstableness, nounstably, adverb

Word Origin for stable

C13: from Old French estable, from Latin stabilis steady, from stāre to stand
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

Word Origin and History for stabling



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stabling in Medicine


  1. Resistant to change of position or condition.
  2. Not subject to mental illness or irrationality.
  3. Having no known mode of decay; indefinitely long-lived. Used of atomic particles.
  4. Not easily decomposed or otherwise modified chemically.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

stabling in Science


  1. 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.
  2. Relating to a chemical compound that does not easily decompose or change into other compounds. Water is an example of a stable compound.
  3. Relating to an atom or chemical element that is unlikely to share electrons with another atom or element.
  4. Not likely to change significantly or to deteriorate suddenly, as an individual's medical condition.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with stabling


see lock the barn (stable) door after the horse has bolted.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.