Did You Know?
We are confident that you won't slip up or err in learning labile, despite its etymology. The word was borrowed into English from French and can be traced back (by way of Middle French labile, meaning "prone to err") to the Latin verb labi, meaning "to slip or fall." Indeed, the first sense of labile in English was "prone to slip, err, or lapse," but that usage is now obsolete. Other labi descendants in English include collapse, elapse, prolapse, and simply lapse.
Origin of labile
French, from Middle French, prone to err, from Late Latin labilis, from Latin labi to slip — more at sleep
First Known Use: 1603
Medical Definition of labile
: readily or frequently changing: asa: readily or continually undergoing chemical, physical, or biological change or breakdown <a labile antigen>b: characterized by wide fluctuations (as in blood pressure or glucose tolerance) <labile hypertension> <labile diabetes>c: emotionally unstable
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