metastable

adjective
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

Other Words from metastable

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

Learn More About metastable

Time Traveler for metastable

Time Traveler

The first known use of metastable was in 1897

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near metastable

metasome

metastable

metastable state

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for metastable

Cite this Entry

“Metastable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metastable. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for metastable

metastable

adjective
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 metastable (audio) \ noun, plural metastabilities

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!