vol·​a·​til·​i·​ty | \ˌvä-lə-ˈti-lə-tē \
plural volatilities

Definition of volatility 

: the quality or state of being volatile: such as

a : a tendency to change quickly and unpredictably price volatility the volatility of the stock market

b : a tendency to erupt in violence or anger the volatility of the region the volatility of his temper

c : the quality of being readily vaporizable at a fairly low temperature As each component of crude oil has a different relative volatility, they will evaporate at different temperatures.— Martin W. Stockel et al.

Examples of volatility in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The volatility is also an issue for odds-based betting on Fortnite or PUBG. Jake Seiner, The Seattle Times, "Esports integrity chief concerned about Fortnite gambling," 21 Nov. 2018 Outside of the residential sector, past policies have created the appearance of volatility in the energy storage industry. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Californian, Hawaiian homeowners charging ahead on residential batteries," 26 July 2018 And there could be more volatility ahead: Expected swings for FXI are near a year-long high, Trade Alert data show. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "China Trade Talks Triggers Bets on Rebound," 5 Nov. 2018 But its volatility has trended lower as many other asset price swings have increased. Steven Russolillo, WSJ, "The Calm Crypto Market? Bitcoin Volatility Drops Despite Turmoil Elsewhere," 9 Nov. 2018 By mining the ever-expanding mountains of e-waste, countries could steel themselves against the volatility in prices and supplies of the global market. New York Times, "E-Waste Offers an Economic Opportunity as Well as Toxicity," 5 July 2018 More Active managers have long argued volatility and falling indexes would help them gain on their passive rivals while showcasing their stock- and bond-picking skills. Justin Baer, WSJ, "The Investor Fever for Passive Funds Is Cooling in 2018," 13 July 2018 In fact, volatility and uncertainty are features of stock markets, not bugs in the system. Michael Wagner, miamiherald, "Millennials should embrace, not fear, stock market volatility | Miami Herald," 14 May 2018 Treasury volatility and a dollar rally have hurt emerging-market assets over the past two weeks, leading stocks and local-currency bonds to erase this year’s gain and sending the spread on external notes to the highest in 14 months. Carolina Wilson, Bloomberg.com, "BlackRock Emerging Markets ETF Sees Most Withdrawals Since 2016," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'volatility.' 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 volatility

1626, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

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The first known use of volatility was in 1626

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Spanish Central: Translation of volatility

Nglish: Translation of volatility for Spanish Speakers

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