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 population has edged down in recent years and housing prices have been stable with little volatility. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Quick, make an offer!: 5 cities where homes sold fastest, and the 5 slowest," 7 June 2018 This is another example of the extra volatility food producers are faced with. New York Times, "U.K. ‘Heat Wave’? Irish ‘Drought’? Unfamiliar Words for Unfamiliar Times," 4 July 2018 The currency, which started trading in 2015, is pitched as a stable alternative to bitcoin’s volatility, acting as a haven for crypto investors. Matt Robinson And Matthew Leising, latimes.com, "Bitcoin's price has been manipulated with another cryptocurrency: tether, professor says," 13 June 2018 So far, 2018 looks like a great year for experiential learning about long-term planning and volatility in financial markets. Michael Wagner, miamiherald, "Millennials should embrace, not fear, stock market volatility | Miami Herald," 14 May 2018 Agencies across the country are avoiding the use of deadly force by teaching their officers techniques on how to slow things down, talk and employ techniques to lessen the volatility. Cynthia Sewell, idahostatesman, "Training, mental health, growth behind Idaho's spike in police shootings, says expert," 2 July 2018 That month’s abrupt blow-up fueled a 116 percent spike in volatility as U.S. stocks slipped into their first correction in two years. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Free-trade Republican lawmakers mount revolt against Trump tariffs," 7 June 2018 Specifically, the potential volatility in Kaliningrad allows the Kremlin to capitalize on the fears and doubts of its geographic neighbors, Sukhankin added. Ross Kenneth Urken, The New Republic, "Playing Geopolitics With the World Cup," 5 June 2018 But there are now too many funds and too many unnecessary varieties, such as ones that bet on trends in volatility or invest in ETF providers. The Economist, "Lessons to a columnist’s previous self," 12 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

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for volatility

The first known use of volatility was in 1626

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More from Merriam-Webster on volatility

Spanish Central: Translation of volatility

Nglish: Translation of volatility for Spanish Speakers

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