volatile

[ vol-uh-tl, -til or, especially British, -tahyl ]
/ ˈvɒl ə tl, -tɪl or, especially British, -ˌtaɪl /

adjective

noun

a volatile substance, as a gas or solvent.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON THESE WORDS FROM BROWN GIRL DREAMING!

Visualize yourself passing this quiz on words from Jacqueline Woodson’s exquisite verse novel “Brown Girl Dreaming,” and then take the quiz to prove you can do it! (Because you can.)
Question 1 of 10
What does “barren” mean?

Origin of volatile

1250–1300; Middle English <Latin volātilis, equivalent to volāt(us) (past participle of volāre to fly; see -ate1) + -ilis-ile

OTHER WORDS FROM volatile

vol·a·til·i·ty [vol-uh-til-i-tee], /ˌvɒl əˈtɪl ɪ ti/, vol·a·tile·ness, nounnon·vol·a·til·i·ty, nounsem·i·vol·a·tile, adjectiveun·vol·a·tile, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for volatile

British Dictionary definitions for volatile

volatile
/ (ˈvɒləˌtaɪl) /

adjective

noun

a volatile substance
rare a winged creature

Derived forms of volatile

volatileness or volatility (ˌvɒləˈtɪlɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for volatile

C17: from Latin volātīlis flying, from volāre to fly
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

Medical definitions for volatile

volatile
[ vŏlə-tl, -tīl′ ]

adj.

Evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures.
That can be readily vaporized.
Tending to violence; explosive, as of behavior.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for volatile

volatile
[ vŏlə-tl ]

Changing easily from liquid to vapor at normal temperatures and pressures. Essential oils used in perfumes are highly volatile.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.