labile

play
adjective la·bile \ˈlā-ˌbī(-ə)l, -bəl\

Definition of labile

  1. 1 :  readily or continually undergoing chemical, physical, or biological change or breakdown :  unstable a labile mineral

  2. 2 :  readily open to change has so labile a face that some of her scenes … rock with emotion — Manny Farber

lability

play \lā-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

labile was our Word of the Day on 07/26/2013. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of labile from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'labile'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 and Etymology of labile

French, from Middle French, prone to err, from Late Latin labilis, from Latin labi to slip — more at sleep


Medical Dictionary

labile

play play
adjective la·bile \ˈlā-ˌbīl, -bəl\

Medical Definition of labile

  1. :  readily or frequently changing: asa:  readily or continually undergoing chemical, physical, or biological change or breakdown a labile antigenb:  characterized by wide fluctuations (as in blood pressure or glucose tolerance) labile hypertension labile diabetesc:  emotionally unstable

lability

\lā-ˈbil-ət-ē\play noun plural

labilities



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