Definition of labile in English:


Syllabification: la·bile
Pronunciation: /ˈlāˌbīl, -bəl


  • 1Liable to change; easily altered.
  • 1.1Of or characterized by emotions that are easily aroused or freely expressed, and that tend to alter quickly and spontaneously; emotionally unstable.
    More example sentences
    • Only emotionally labile noncompliance was a significant predictor of peer rejection.
    • Objectively, he is emotionally labile and becomes jittery and nervous when discussing the ring.
    • She may be labile and inconsistent, expressing strong emotions of various types without any solid reason.
  • 1.2 Chemistry Easily broken down or displaced.
    More example sentences
    • We know that elements are labile things, which is why lead water pipes and lead-based paints are no longer manufactured, and why aluminium cooking utensils are (rightly or wrongly) accused on suspicion of causing dementia.
    • This is consistent with perceptions that lipids are more labile than nonlipids.
    • The chemical exchange of labile deuterons was measured as described previously, using an inversion-transfer technique.



Pronunciation: /lāˈbilətē, lə-/
More example sentences
  • Increasing problems with mood lability are noticeable as girls move into puberty.
  • The change of the lability of the system as the diffusion layer thickness is modified is analyzed in detail.
  • Other examples of affective lability can be found in women with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.


late Middle English (in the sense 'liable to err or sin'): from late Latin labilis, from labi 'to fall'.

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