[ stey-buhl ]
See synonyms for: stablestablesstablenessstably on

  1. a building for the lodging and feeding of horses, cattle, etc.

  2. such a building with stalls.

  1. a collection of animals housed in such a building.

  2. Horse Racing.

    • an establishment where racehorses are kept and trained.

    • the horses belonging to, or the persons connected with, such an establishment.

  3. Informal.

    • 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.

    • the establishment that trains or manages such a group of people: two boxers from the same stable.

    • 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

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English stable, stabel(e), from Old French estable, from Latin stabulum “stall; shed,” equivalent to sta-, stem of stāre “to stand” + -bulum noun suffix denoting place; see origin at stand

Other words for stable

Other words from stable

  • sta·ble·like, adjective
  • un·sta·bled, adjective

Other definitions for stable (2 of 2)

[ stey-buhl ]

adjective,sta·bler, sta·blest.
  1. not likely to fall or give way, as a structure, support, foundation, etc.; firm; steady.

  2. able or likely to continue or last; firmly established; enduring or permanent: a stable government.

  1. resistant to sudden change or deterioration: A stable economy is the aim of every government.

  2. steadfast; not wavering or changeable, as in character or purpose; dependable.

  3. not subject to emotional instability or illness; sane; mentally sound.

  4. Physics. having the ability to react to a disturbing force by maintaining or reestablishing position, form, etc.

  5. Chemistry. not readily decomposing, as a compound; resisting molecular or chemical change.

  6. (of a patient's condition) exhibiting no significant change.

Origin of stable

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English stable, stabel(e), from Old French estable, stable, from Latin stabilis stabile

Other words for stable

Other words from stable

  • sta·ble·ness, noun
  • stably, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use stable in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stable (1 of 2)


/ (ˈsteɪbəl) /

  1. a building, usually consisting of stalls, for the lodging of horses or other livestock

  2. the animals lodged in such a building, collectively

    • the racehorses belonging to a particular establishment or owner

    • the establishment itself

    • (as modifier): stable companion

  1. informal a source of training, such as a school, theatre, etc: the two athletes were out of the same stable

  2. a number of people considered as a source of a particular talent: a stable of writers

  3. (modifier) of, relating to, or suitable for a stable: stable manners

  1. to put, keep, or be kept in a stable

Origin of stable

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

British Dictionary definitions for stable (2 of 2)


/ (ˈsteɪbəl) /

  1. steady in position or balance; firm

  2. lasting or permanent: a stable relationship

  1. steadfast or firm of purpose

  2. (of an elementary particle, atomic nucleus, etc) not undergoing decay; not radioactive: a stable nuclide

  3. (of a chemical compound) not readily partaking in a chemical change

  4. (of electronic equipment) with no tendency to self-oscillation

Origin of stable

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

Derived forms of stable

  • stableness, noun
  • stably, adverb

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

Scientific definitions for stable


[ stābəl ]

  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.

  1. Relating to an atom or chemical element that is unlikely to share electrons with another atom or element.

  2. 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.

Other Idioms and Phrases with stable


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.