Definition of labile in English:



  • 1 technical Liable to change; easily altered.

    ‘persons whose blood pressure is more labile will carry an enhanced risk of heart attack’
    • ‘we may be the most labile culture in all history’
    unpredictable, inconsistent, changeable, variable, inconstant, uncertain, irregular, unstable, turbulent, unsteady, unsettled, unreliable, undependable, changing, ever-changing, volatile, varying, shifting, fluctuating, fluid, mutable, protean, fitful, wavering, full of ups and downs, peaky
    1. 1.1Of or characterized by emotions that are easily aroused or freely expressed, and that tend to alter quickly and spontaneously; emotionally unstable.
      ‘mood seemed generally appropriate, but the patient was often labile’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He experienced labile mood, irritability, and ‘a racing heart’.’
      • ‘An illustrative case is a 29-year-old clerical worker in England noted to be depressed, emotionally labile and socially withdrawn.’
      evaporative, vaporous, vaporescent
    2. 1.2Chemistry Easily broken down or displaced.
      ‘the breakage of labile bonds’
      • ‘a heat-labile protein’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, water stress interacting with CO2 enhanced the shift of the carbon from the labile pool to recalcitrant pool.’
      • ‘A new class of thermally labile compounds having rust inhibiting properties is disclosed and claimed.’



/ˈlāˌbīl/ /ˈleɪˌbaɪl/ /ˈlāb(ə)l/ /ˈleɪb(ə)l/


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