meta·​sta·​ble | \ ˌme-tə-ˈstā-bəl How to pronounce metastable (audio) \

Definition of metastable

: having or characterized by only a slight margin of stability a metastable compound

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Other Words from metastable

metastability \ ˌme-​tə-​stə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce metastability (audio) \ noun
metastably \ ˌme-​tə-​ˈstā-​b(ə-​)lē How to pronounce metastably (audio) \ adverb

Examples of metastable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "Astronomers Spot Helium on Exoplanet for First Time," 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, "The End of the Universe as We Know It," 23 Mar. 2017

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

First Known Use of metastable

1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for metastable

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for metastable

Time Traveler

The first known use of metastable was in 1897

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Statistics for metastable

Cite this Entry

“Metastable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for metastable


meta·​sta·​ble | \ ˌmet-ə-ˈstā-bəl How to pronounce metastable (audio) \

Medical Definition of metastable

: having or characterized by only a slight margin of stability a metastable compound

Other Words from metastable

metastability \ -​stə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce metastability (audio) \ noun, plural metastabilities

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