What does unstable mean?

Definitions for unstable
ʌnˈsteɪ bəlun·sta·ble

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word unstable.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. unstableadjective

    lacking stability or fixity or firmness

    "unstable political conditions"; "the tower proved to be unstable in the high wind"; "an unstable world economy"

  2. unstableadjective

    highly or violently reactive

    "sensitive and highly unstable compounds"

  3. precarious, unstableadjective

    affording no ease or reassurance

    "a precarious truce"

  4. mentally ill, unsound, unstableadjective

    suffering from severe mental illness

    "of unsound mind"

  5. unstableadjective

    disposed to psychological variability

    "his rather unstable religious convictions"

  6. fluid, unstableadjective

    subject to change; variable

    "a fluid situation fraught with uncertainty"; "everything was unstable following the coup"


  1. unstableadjective

    having a strong tendency to change

  2. unstableadjective

    fluctuating; not constant

  3. unstableadjective


  4. unstableadjective


  5. unstableadjective

    Readily decompasable

  6. unstableadjective

    Radioactive, especially with a short half-life

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Unstableadjective

    Etymology: instabilis, Lat.

    Where gentry, title, wisdom,
    Cannot conclude by the yea and no
    Of gen’ral ignorance, it must omit
    Real necessities, and give way the while
    T’ unstable slightness. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    A popular state not founded on the general interests of the people, is of all others the most uncertain, unstable, and subject to the most easy changes. William Temple.

    Thus air was void of light, and earth unstable. Dryden.

    See harness’d steeds desert the stony town,
    And wander roads unstable, not their own. John Gay.

    A double-minded man is unstable. James i. 8.


  1. unstable

    In dynamical systems instability means that some of the outputs or internal states increase with time, without bounds. Not all systems that are not stable are unstable; systems can also be marginally stable or exhibit limit cycle behavior. In structural engineering, a structural beam or column can become unstable when excessive compressive load is applied. Beyond a certain threshold, structural deflections magnify stresses, which in turn increases deflections. This can take the form of buckling or crippling. The general field of study is called structural stability. Atmospheric instability is a major component of all weather systems on Earth.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Unstableadjective

    not stable; not firm, fixed, or constant; subject to change or overthrow


  1. Unstable

    Unstable is Adema's second and also final album to feature its original lineup with Chavez and Ransom departing from the band after its release and then again after their reunion. It was released on August 12, 2003. It has sold about 400,000 copies worldwide. Its radio single was the self-titled song "Unstable", which also had a music video, but it didn't get very much radio play. Many songs relied more on instrumentation and harmony instead of distortion in comparison to their previous album, but the album also has some of the band's most aggressive work. It was less successful than their first album, debuting at number 43 on the Billboard 200 before quickly falling off the chart.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Unstable

    un-stā′bl, adj. not stable, unreliable, infirm, inconstant: in such a physical state that the slightest change induces further change of form or composition.—ns. Unstabil′ity, Unstā′bleness.

How to pronounce unstable?

How to say unstable in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of unstable in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of unstable in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of unstable in a Sentence

  1. Jeb Bush:

    I think President Obama is being naive to trust the Ayatollahs and this deal will ultimately create an even more unstable Middle East.

  2. Sheena Greitens:

    In early June 2018, I became afraid for my safety and that of our children at our home, which was fairly isolated, due to Eric's unstable and coercive behavior, this behavior included physical violence toward our children, such as cuffing our then three-year-old son across the face at the dinner table in front of me and yanking him around by his hair.

  3. Rachel Kyte:

    The implications of unmitigated climate change for the UAE make its cities unbearably hot, water even more scarce and the region more unstable, action alone and collectively to live in balance with the planet is fundamental for UAE's future prosperity.

  4. John Tims:

    The experts that weve spoken to have said it is unsafe for us to go on that island. The island is unstable, the physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island, it is important that we consider the health and safety of those that will return to the island.

  5. Donald Trump:

    Well I'm looking to do background checks. I think background checks are important. I don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate.

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Translations for unstable

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"unstable." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/unstable>.

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    a hazy or indistinct representation
    • A. doom
    • B. inspire
    • C. blur
    • D. attend

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