metastable

adjective

meta·​sta·​ble ˌme-tə-ˈstā-bəl How to pronounce metastable (audio)
: having or characterized by only a slight margin of stability
a metastable compound
metastability noun
metastably adverb

Examples of metastable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some metastable clogs persisted longer than others. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 14 Mar. 2023 Under a metastable regime, information is continuously created, preserved and annihilated by spatiotemporally changing coalitions among parts and processes. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 14 July 2014 In an inflating universe, if a region is in a metastable vacuum, bubbles containing different vacua will form. Sean Carroll, Discover Magazine, 22 Dec. 2010 The averaging of subcontinental scale populations collapses the varied responses and generates a false metastable equilibrium in the data. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 21 Apr. 2011 Plugging those two numbers into the stability equations reveals that the universe is… metastable. Paul M. Sutter, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2022 In 2000, astronomers predicted that metastable helium should show up in certain planetary atmospheres, but a search for it—reported in 2003,—on the planet HD 209458b, came up empty. Alexandra Witze, Scientific American, 4 May 2018 Guth wondered what would have happened if such a metastable phase transition occurred in the early universe. Adam Davidson, The New Yorker, 23 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'metastable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of metastable was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near metastable

Cite this Entry

“Metastable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metastable. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

metastable

adjective
meta·​sta·​ble ˌmet-ə-ˈstā-bəl How to pronounce metastable (audio)
: having or characterized by only a slight margin of stability
a metastable compound
metastability noun
plural metastabilities
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