sta·​bi·​liz·​er | \ ˈstā-bə-ˌlī-zər How to pronounce stabilizer (audio) \

Definition of stabilizer

: one that stabilizes something: such as
a : a substance added to another substance (such as an explosive or plastic) or to a system (such as an emulsion) to prevent or retard an unwanted alteration of physical state
b : a gyroscope device to keep ships steady in a heavy sea
c : an airfoil providing stability for an airplane specifically : the fixed horizontal member of the tail assembly — see airplane illustration

Examples of stabilizer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The first stall happened before a piece of horizontal stabilizer and elevator broke off. Washington Post, "The Latest: Man who videotaped skydivers was on the plane," 22 June 2019 These mechanical devices are usually in the shape of control surfaces attached to the rear of the wing, horizontal, and vertical stabilizers and are controlled by the pilot—or sometimes an onboard flight computer. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "New Stealth Drone Has No Moving Surfaces at All," 15 Dec. 2017 Using state-of-the-art stabilizers, vacuums and thousands of sensors, the scientists measured changes in the arms’ lengths as tiny as one thousandth the width of a proton. Quanta Magazine, "Gravitational Waves Discovered at Long Last," 11 Feb. 2016 Investigators found that the plane had lost a piece of horizontal stabilizer and that the plane’s elevator had broken off. Andrew Selsky, The Denver Post, "Vail snowboarder among 11 killed after skydiving plane crashes in Hawaii," 23 June 2019 Boeing 737 MAX Manual crank Horizontal stabilizer Sources: Boeing and FAA. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, "Boeing’s Latest 737 MAX Concern: Pilots’ Physical Strength," 19 June 2019 Both the apparel and cosmetics industries are major sources of waste, and chemicals often used to make fabrics and skincare products, such as microplastics, ingredient stabilizers, and textile finishers. Kim Bhasin, Fortune, "Chanel Invests in Boston Startup Making Sustainable Silk," 11 June 2019 The airline, for its part, criticized Airbus for failing to properly alert pilots before the crash about structural limits of the A300’s vertical stabilizer. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, "Boeing Faces Escalating Feud With Lion Air Over Plane Crash," 19 Dec. 2018 Back in 2008 , another B-52 crashed while stationed in Guam, and its horizontal stabilizer malfunction resulted in the death of all six crew. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "B-52 Crashes Shortly After Takeoff In Guam," 19 May 2016

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

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First Known Use of stabilizer

circa 1909, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for stabilizer

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for stabilizer

The first known use of stabilizer was circa 1909

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More Definitions for stabilizer



English Language Learners Definition of stabilizer

: a device that is used to keep a ship steady in rough seas
: the part of an airplane's tail that cannot be moved
: a substance that is added to something (such as a food mixture) to keep it in a desired condition


variants: also British stabiliser \ ˈstā-​bə-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce stabiliser (audio) \

Medical Definition of stabilizer

: one that stabilizes something especially : a substance added to another substance or to a system (as an emulsion) to prevent or retard an unwanted alteration of physical state

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