- a mercurial temper
mercurial was our Word of the Day on 09/16/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of mercurial in a Sentence
- Few moments in English history have been more hungry for the future, its mercurial possibilities and its hope of richness, than the spring of 1603. —Adam Nicolson, God's Secretaries, 2003
- Though you could see all three places in one day, each of them makes you want to stay or to keep returning to watch the effects of the changing weather and the mercurial Sicilian light. —Francine Prose, Atlantic, December 2002
- Some scientists suggest that because manic-depressive patients are ever riding the bio-chemical express between emotional extremes, their brains end up more complexly wired and remain more persistently plastic than do the brains of less mercurial sorts. —Natalie Angier, New York Times, 12 Oct. 1993
- Still grinning, still miming, he samba-ed across the floor … and started in on the dishes with a vigor that would have prostrated his mercurial cousin. —T. Coraghessan Boyle, Harper's, October 1987
the boss's mood is so mercurial that we never know how he's going to react to anything
Recent Examples of mercurial from the Web
As if things couldn't get any worse for West Brom, United's mercurial attacking midfielder Paul Pogba will go into Sunday's match on a high, after his devastating display at the Etihad last weekend.
And then there's DeMarcus Cousins, the mercurial and uber-talented big man who averaged 33.6 points and 13.3 rebounds in three games against Portland this season before suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in late January.
Expression is everything to mercurial Gemini, and so their partnerships are fueled by communication.
All of this is happening in the wake of key departures of Trump staff who have been seen as stabilizing influences on the mercurial president.
Tillerson frequently complained to colleagues that Trump was too mercurial and impulsive, and voiced frustration that the president struggled to focus during meandering conversation.
New coach Jon Gruden has made moves to clean up the locker room—whacking Michael Crabtree was one—but leaving Lynch there means bringing back a player who was mercurial, inconsistent and never seemed to fully buy into Jack Del Rio’s program.
According to The New York Times, the departure stemmed from strategic differences between the prominent Washington defense attorney and his mercurial client.
With the official start of spring less than a week away, and weather patterns skewing slightly toward mercurial, transitional looks are on everyone's minds—a fact made evident by an upswing in the body-confident showing of crop-top abs.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mercurial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
The Roman god Mercury ("Mercurius" in Latin) was the messenger and herald of the gods and also the god of merchants and thieves. (His counterpart in Greek mythology is Hermes.) He was noted for his eloquence, swiftness, and cunning, and the Romans named what appeared to them to be the fastest-moving planet in his honor. The Latin adjective derived from his name, mercurialis, meaning "of or relating to Mercury," was borrowed into English in the 14th century as "mercurial." Although the adjective initially meant "born under the planet Mercury," it came to mean also "having qualities of eloquence, ingenuity, or thievishness attributed to the god Mercury or the influence of the planet Mercury," and then "unpredictably changeable."
capricious, changeable, changeful, fickle, flickery, fluctuating, fluid, inconsistent, inconstant, mutable, skittish, temperamental, uncertain, unpredictable, unsettled, unstable, unsteady, variable, volatile;
up in the air;
Synonym Discussion of mercurial
- an inconstant friend
- performers discover how fickle fans can be
- an utterly capricious critic
- made anxious by her boss's mercurial temperament
- too unstable to hold a job
MERCURIAL Defined for English Language Learners
: changing moods quickly and often
: changing often : very changeable
: very lively and quick
Seen and Heard
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