Definition of labile
- a labile mineral
- has so labile a face that some of her scenes … rock with emotion
- —Manny Farber
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
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.
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.
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