vol·​a·​til·​i·​ty | \ ˌvä-lə-ˈti-lə-tē How to pronounce volatility (audio) \
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 Lakers may never have been a viable destination, given the kind of front-office dysfunction and volatility that Leonard detests. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Kawhi to the Clippers is crazy and unexpected, and makes perfect sense," 6 July 2019 Trade-war induced volatility isn't going anywhere soon and investors are going to have to come to terms with that, said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco. CBS News, "Best first half for U.S. stocks since dotcom era 20-plus years ago," 28 June 2019 That doesn’t necessarily guarantee low or no volatility. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "Libra, explained," 26 June 2019 The ongoing forum discussion on the volatility of the stock market: U.S. stocks in freefall started in 2011 (there are 55,000 or so replies and 1.2 million all-time views). Erin Arvedlund, Philly.com, "The Bogleheads celebrate 20 years of low-cost index funds with patron 'Saint Jack' Bogle," 16 Feb. 2018 Many sophisticated Wall Street pros had been betting on volatility remaining low, so the quick change in market tone caused them to lose money. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "VIX, a gauge of volatility, is being manipulated, claims whistleblower in letter to SEC," 13 Feb. 2018 Expect continued day-to-day stock market volatility. Nancy Tengler, USA TODAY, "Don't let volatility or the trade war scare you. This is a good time to buy stocks," 25 June 2019 Both politics and market volatility can be blamed for the dollar's loss of market share last year. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "The dollar has never been so popular. So why is interest in the yuan and euro growing?," 18 June 2019 Watch Quartz reporter Michael Coren and membership editor Sam Grobart talk about Tesla’s recent volatility on the stock market, its future business plans, and Elon Musk’s continuing rambunctiousness. Sam Grobart, Quartz, "Watch: Tesla’s wild ride," 10 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of volatility

1626, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about volatility

Statistics for volatility

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for volatility

The first known use of volatility was in 1626

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on volatility

Spanish Central: Translation of volatility

Nglish: Translation of volatility for Spanish Speakers

Comments on volatility

What made you want to look up volatility? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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