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volatile

[vol-uh-tl, -til or, esp. British, -tahyl] /ˈvɒl ə tl, -tɪl or, esp. British, -ˌtaɪl/
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
1250-1300; Middle English < Latin volātilis, equivalent to volāt(us) (past participle of volāre to fly; see -ate1) + -ilis -ile
Related forms
volatility
[vol-uh-til-i-tee] /ˌvɒl əˈtɪl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
volatileness, noun
nonvolatility, noun
semivolatile, adjective
unvolatile, adjective
Synonyms
2. eruptive, unstable, unsettled.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for volatility
  • It has high volatility which increases evaporation into the air.
  • With all the volatility last week, it can feel as if the economy is collapsing around us.
  • Do not, in the meantime, conflate volatility with risk.
  • But the biggest problem with a floating currency remains the risk of volatility.
  • Don't worry too much about the volatility of the market.
  • The volatility index is impacting the individual investor.
  • The volatility of shipping rates is really amazing to me.
  • Fortunes are made and lost in sudden bursts of activity when the market seems to speed up and the volatility soars.
  • volatility goes up, because firms can and do enter and exit positions on a hair trigger.
  • Income volatility is the mechanism through which guests check in and check out.
British Dictionary definitions for volatility

volatile

/ˈvɒləˌtaɪl/
adjective
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
noun
7.
a volatile substance
8.
(rare) a winged creature
Derived Forms
volatileness, volatility (ˌvɒləˈtɪlɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin volātīlis flying, from volāre to fly
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 volatility

volatile

adj.

1590s "fine or light," also "evaporating rapidly" (c.1600), from Middle French volatile, from Latin volatilis "fleeting, transitory, flying," from past participle stem of volare "to fly" (see volant). Sense of "readily changing, fickle" is first recorded 1640s. Volatiles in Middle English meant "birds, butterflies, and other winged creatures" (c.1300).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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volatility in Medicine

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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volatility in Science
volatile
  (vŏl'ə-tl)   
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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