volatile

[vol-uh-tl, -til or, esp. British, -tahyl]
adjective
1.
evaporating rapidly; passing off readily in the form of vapor: Acetone is a volatile solvent.
2.
tending or threatening to break out into open violence; explosive: a volatile political situation.
3.
changeable; mercurial; flighty: a volatile disposition.
4.
(of prices, values, etc.) tending to fluctuate sharply and regularly: volatile market conditions.
5.
fleeting; transient: volatile beauty.
6.
Computers. of or pertaining to storage that does not retain data when electrical power is turned off or fails.
7.
able to fly or flying.
noun
8.
a volatile substance, as a gas or solvent.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English < Latin volātilis, equivalent to volāt(us) (past participle of volāre to fly; see -ate1) + -ilis -ile

volatility [vol-uh-til-i-tee] , volatileness, noun
nonvolatility, noun
semivolatile, adjective
unvolatile, adjective


2. eruptive, unstable, unsettled.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
volatile (ˈvɒləˌtaɪl)
 
adj
1.  (of a substance) capable of readily changing from a solid or liquid form to a vapour; having a high vapour pressure and a low boiling point
2.  (of persons) disposed to caprice or inconstancy; fickle; mercurial
3.  (of circumstances) liable to sudden, unpredictable, or explosive change
4.  lasting only a short time: volatile business interests
5.  computing (of a memory) not retaining stored information when the power supply is cut off
6.  obsolete flying or capable of flight; volant
 
n
7.  a volatile substance
8.  rare a winged creature
 
[C17: from Latin volātīlis flying, from volāre to fly]
 
'volatileness
 
n
 
volatility
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

volatile
1597 "fine or light," also "evaporating rapidly" (1605), from M.Fr. volatile, from L. volatilis "fleeting, transitory, flying," from pp. stem of volare "to fly," of unknown origin. Sense of "readily changing, fickle" is first recorded 1647. Volatiles in M.E. meant "birds, butterflies, and other winged
creatures" (c.1300).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

volatile vol·a·tile (vŏl'ə-tl, -tīl')
adj.

  1. Evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures.

  2. That can be readily vaporized.

  3. Tending to violence; explosive, as of behavior.

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
volatile   (vŏl'ə-tl)  Pronunciation Key 
Changing easily from liquid to vapor at normal temperatures and pressures. Essential oils used in perfumes are highly volatile.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

volatile definition


1. volatile variable.
2. See non-volatile storage.
(1997-06-05)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Temperature that's warm enough to keep us comfortable will release the volatile
  oils in tender herb leaves.
These plants are a type of mint and produce a host of volatile oils and other
  chemicals.
Federal financing has proved to be extremely volatile, even before this week's
  ruling.
If you prefer green products, anything fairly volatile is sufficient.
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