Definition of instability in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnstəˈbɪlɪti/

noun (plural instabilities)

[mass noun]
1The state of being unstable; lack of stability: political and economic instability
More example sentences
  • Economic hardship and popular demoralisation may create social and political instabilities which are more formidable threats to the regime than war with South Korea.
  • Economic or political instabilities within Pakistan could easily ignite the conflict once more.
  • Some simple arithmetic can give us a broader view of these structural instabilities.
fluidity, fluctuation, rise and fall, rising and falling
informal chanciness, iffiness
British informal dodginess
literary mutability
1.1Tendency to unpredictable behaviour or erratic changes of mood: she showed increasing signs of mental instability
More example sentences
  • It emerged that Sharpe had a history of mental instability and had had psychiatric treatment.
  • He is unbalanced, and that mental instability makes him a danger to himself and to others.
  • This may be a reflection of Victorian attitudes towards mental instability.
changeableness, variability, capriciousness, volatility, flightiness, fitfulness, vacillation, oscillation, unpredictability, unpredictableness;
moodiness, a tendency to blow hot and cold;
unsoundness, frailty, infirmity, weakness, irregularity, abnormality
rare erraticism


Late Middle English: from French instabilité, from Latin instabilitas, from instabilis, from in- 'not' + stabilis (see stable1).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|stabil|ity

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