follow Dictionary.com

Write a Super Short Story to win an iPod!

metastable

[met-uh-stey-buh l, met-uh-stey-] /ˈmɛt əˌsteɪ bəl, ˌmɛt əˈsteɪ-/
adjective
1.
Metallurgy. chemically unstable in the absence of certain conditions that would induce stability, but not liable to spontaneous transformation.
2.
Also, labile. Physics, Chemistry. pertaining to a body or system existing at an energy level (metastable state) above that of a more stable state and requiring the addition of a small amount of energy to induce a transition to the more stable state.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900; meta- + stable2
Related forms
metastability
[met-uh-stuh-bil-i-tee] /ˌmɛt ə stəˈbɪl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for metastable state

metastable

/ˌmɛtəˈsteɪbəl/
adjective
1.
(of a body or system) having a state of apparent equilibrium although capable of changing to a more stable state
2.
(of an atom, molecule, ion, or atomic nucleus) existing in an excited state with a relatively long lifetime
noun
3.
a metastable atom, ion, molecule, or nucleus
Derived Forms
metastability, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for metastable

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for metastable

0
17
Scrabble Words With Friends