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[myoo-tuh-buh l] /ˈmyu tə bəl/
liable or subject to change or alteration.
given to changing; constantly changing; fickle or inconstant:
the mutable ways of fortune.
Origin of mutable
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin mūtābilis, equivalent to mūtā(re) to change + -bilis -ble
Related forms
mutability, mutableness, noun
mutably, adverb
hypermutability, noun
hypermutable, adjective
hypermutableness, noun
hypermutably, adverb
nonmutability, noun
nonmutable, adjective
nonmutableness, noun
nonmutably, adverb
unmutable, adjective
1. changeable, variable. 2. unstable, vacillating, unsettled, wavering, unsteady.
2. stable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mutable
  • In fact, the fact that they are changeable and mutable is what brought me into this conundrum in the first place.
  • The reality, however, is that works of art are more mutable than is usually acknowledged.
  • The country is so vast and so mutable that any attempt to describe it seems facile.
  • He is interested in clothes as mutable materials that communicate ideas.
  • The band's membership was always, to put it mildly, somewhat mutable.
  • These factors-in good news for humans at the low end of the social ladder-may be mutable.
  • Thus, since our laws are infinitely mutable and can be changed at any time, by definition they are incapable of ownership.
  • Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right.
  • Now scientists report that the brain is even more mutable than suspected.
  • But the mutable tubercle bacillus proved an elusive target, becoming resistant to each successive drug tried.
British Dictionary definitions for mutable


able to or tending to change
(astrology) of or relating to four of the signs of the zodiac, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, which are associated with the quality of adaptability Compare cardinal (sense 9), fixed (sense 10)
Derived Forms
mutability, (rare) mutableness, noun
mutably, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin mūtābilis fickle, from mūtāre to change
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
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Word Origin and History for mutable

late 14c., "liable to change," from Latin mutabilis "changeable," from mutare "to change," from PIE root *mei- "to change, go, move" (cf. Sanskrit methati "changes, alternates, joins, meets;" Avestan mitho "perverted, false;" Hittite mutai- "be changed into;" Latin meare "to go, pass," migrare "to move from one place to another;" Old Church Slavonic mite "alternately;" Czech mijim "to go by, pass by," Polish mijać "avoid;" Gothic maidjan "to change"); with derivatives referring to the exchange of goods and services as regulated by custom or law (cf. Latin mutuus "done in exchange," munus "service performed for the community, duty, work").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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