2 [stey-buhl]
adjective, stabler, stablest.
not likely to fall or give way, as a structure, support, foundation, etc.; firm; steady.
able or likely to continue or last; firmly established; enduring or permanent: a stable government.
resistant to sudden change or deterioration: A stable economy is the aim of every government.
steadfast; not wavering or changeable, as in character or purpose; dependable.
not subject to emotional instability or illness; sane; mentally sound.
Physics. having the ability to react to a disturbing force by maintaining or reestablishing position, form, etc.
Chemistry. not readily decomposing, as a compound; resisting molecular or chemical change.
(of a patient's condition) exhibiting no significant change.

1225–75; Middle English < Old French estable < Latin stabilis stabile

stableness, noun
stably, adverb

1. fixed, strong, sturdy. 4. invariable, unvarying, staunch, constant, reliable, steady, solid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
stable1 (ˈsteɪbəl)
1.  a building, usually consisting of stalls, for the lodging of horses or other livestock
2.  the animals lodged in such a building, collectively
3.  a.  the racehorses belonging to a particular establishment or owner
 b.  the establishment itself
 c.  (as modifier): stable companion
4.  informal a source of training, such as a school, theatre, etc: the two athletes were out of the same stable
5.  a number of people considered as a source of a particular talent: a stable of writers
6.  (modifier) of, relating to, or suitable for a stable: stable manners
7.  to put, keep, or be kept in a stable
[C13: from Old French estable cowshed, from Latin stabulum shed, from stāre to stand]

stable2 (ˈsteɪbəl)
1.  steady in position or balance; firm
2.  lasting or permanent: a stable relationship
3.  steadfast or firm of purpose
4.  (of an elementary particle, atomic nucleus, etc) not undergoing decay; not radioactive: a stable nuclide
5.  (of a chemical compound) not readily partaking in a chemical change
6.  (of electronic equipment) with no tendency to self-oscillation
[C13: from Old French estable, from Latin stabilis steady, from stāre to stand]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"building where horses or cows are kept," mid-13c., "building for domestic animals," from O.Fr. estable "a stable, stall" (also applied to cowsheds and pigsties), from L. stabulum "a stall, fold, aviary, etc." lit. "a standing place," from stem of stare "to stand" (see
stet). Meaning "collection of horses belonging to one stable is attested from 1570s; transferred sense of "group of fighters under same management" is from 1897; that of "group of prostitutes working for the same employer" is from 1937.
"For what the grete Stiede
Is stole, thanne he taketh hiede,
And makth the stable dore fast."
[John Gower, "Confessio Amantis," 1390]

"steadfast, firm," c.1275, from O.Fr. estable, from L. stabilis "firm, steadfast," lit. "able to stand," from stem of stare "to stand" (see stet). Physical sense of "secure against falling" is recorded from c.1300. Of nuclear isotopes, from 1904.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

stable sta·ble (stā'bəl)
adj. sta·bler, sta·blest

  1. Resistant to change of position or condition.

  2. Not subject to mental illness or irrationality.

  3. Having no known mode of decay; indefinitely long-lived. Used of atomic particles.

  4. Not easily decomposed or otherwise modified chemically.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
stable   (stā'bəl)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Not susceptible to a process of decay, such as radioactivity. For example, the most common isotope of carbon, carbon 12, is stable. Protons and photons are examples of stable subatomic particles. See more at decay.

  2. Relating to a chemical compound that does not easily decompose or change into other compounds. Water is an example of a stable compound.

  3. Relating to an atom or chemical element that is unlikely to share electrons with another atom or element.

  4. Not likely to change significantly or to deteriorate suddenly, as an individual's medical condition.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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