Definition of instability in English:

instability

nounPlural instabilities

mass noun
  • 1The state of being unstable; lack of stability.

    ‘political and economic instability’
    • ‘If you break supersymmetry, if you do it the wrong way, you're going to get a cosmological constant that's much too big, and then you may well get associated problems, such as instabilities, runaways and so on.’
    • ‘Experts point to societal issues such as economics, racial disharmony, family instabilities, and population density as major risk factors for violence and homicides.’
    • ‘Many instabilities of the past quarter century have especially affected young males.’
    • ‘Temperature differences cause instabilities and drive winds, and unstable disturbances grow into powerful storms.’
    • ‘This unreliability is not caused by sudden instabilities of search engines, but precisely by their operational stability in systematically updating the Internet.’
    • ‘Far from strengthening Australian capitalism, the global integration of production has left it highly vulnerable to the instabilities of world economy.’
    • ‘A grimmer possibility is that new instabilities are emerging.’
    • ‘Possible disputes tie into the domestic instabilities of both states and symbolize the political threat that they pose to each other.’
    • ‘Economic or political instabilities within Pakistan could easily ignite the conflict once more.’
    • ‘More likely however is that the worrying lack of form stems from instabilities off the field.’
    • ‘Historically, government priorities and technical directions have changed more frequently than would be justified by technology lifetimes, creating market instabilities.’
    • ‘Installation and operation on both machines was flawless - no lockups, no incompatibilities, and no instabilities.’
    • ‘Due to the soft nature of these samples quantitative measurements of small instabilities were rather difficult.’
    • ‘Economic hardship and popular demoralisation may create social and political instabilities which are more formidable threats to the regime than war with South Korea.’
    • ‘The region has followed the instabilities of Indonesia nervously since the crisis and regime change in 1998.’
    • ‘Some simple arithmetic can give us a broader view of these structural instabilities.’
    • ‘People who are my age are growing up with impending problems, such as major environmental instabilities and global warming.’
    • ‘Moreover, he argues that both anarchy and empire are extreme conditions, the natural instabilities of which tend to push the norm into the middle ranges of the spectrum.’
    • ‘It metaphorises cyberpunk's social instabilities into an alarming maelstrom of biological uncertainty: exaggerated clarity becomes exaggerated anxiety.’
    • ‘This structure arose from small gravitational instabilities seeded in the chaos just after the Big Bang.’
    unreliability, uncertainty, unpredictability, unpredictableness, precariousness, unsteadiness, insecurity, vulnerability, perilousness, riskiness
    unsteadiness, unsoundness, shakiness, ricketiness, wobbliness, frailty, fragility, flimsiness, insubstantiality
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Tendency to unpredictable behaviour or erratic changes of mood.
      ‘she showed increasing signs of mental instability’
      • ‘Mental instability affects almost everyone at some time in their lives.’
      • ‘It is possible for a man to get a fake doctor's certificate to prove the mental instability of his wife and get a divorce.’
      • ‘Ying Tong is about the relationship between creativity and mental instability.’
      • ‘A feud with her two older sisters over her boyfriend added to her mental instability.’
      • ‘It emerged that Sharpe had a history of mental instability and had had psychiatric treatment.’
      • ‘Moving from job to job is seen as a sign of instability rather than a sign of success.’
      • ‘Jesus knows our frailties, our struggles, our instabilities.’
      • ‘I do not think that it by any means implies mental instability of any kind.’
      • ‘This may be a reflection of Victorian attitudes towards mental instability.’
      • ‘Once his mental instability manifested itself, she won a divorce, but she did not seem so very fond of him in the first place.’
      • ‘This may be due to mental problems (low IQ, instabilities, whatever) or to unfortunate circumstances beyond their control.’
      • ‘Why wasn't his mental instability spotted before this terrible incident?’
      • ‘I think that it requires a serious state of mental instability to be incited to copy what you see on a television screen.’
      • ‘He is unbalanced, and that mental instability makes him a danger to himself and to others.’
      • ‘You do still wonder why her closest friends are so willing to indulge her mood swings and are so oblivious to her instability.’
      • ‘The cast skilfully confronted the delicate issue of mental instability with poise and sensitivity.’
      changeableness, variability, capriciousness, volatility, flightiness, fitfulness, vacillation, oscillation, unpredictability, unpredictableness
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from French instabilité, from Latin instabilitas, from instabilis, from in- ‘not’ + stabilis (see stable).

Pronunciation

instability

/ɪnstəˈbɪlɪti/