Definition of unstable in English:

unstable

adjective

  • 1Prone to change, fail, or give way; not stable.

    ‘the unstable cliff tops’
    ‘an unstable government’
    • ‘The unstable ground underneath his feet suddenly gave way, and he fell into a deep sinkhole.’
    • ‘Yet this one is so poorly made that the mast at sea would have twisted, making the ship unstable and difficult to control.’
    • ‘Construction of drilled piles in unstable soil is difficult because soil can contaminate the pile.’
    • ‘Due to natural erosion the cliff was inherently unstable, and there had been at least two landslips on the authority's land.’
    • ‘Calm funded the project to avoid safety worries over unstable cliff faces and walking trails.’
    • ‘However it was found to be geologically unstable and would likely blow itself to ashes in about six cycles.’
    • ‘Just inside the entrance many large rocks had fallen and lots of loose rubble, indicating that the entrance was unstable and prone to rock falls.’
    • ‘The thief and his pursuers were uncertain on their feet while they tried to traverse the unstable landscape.’
    • ‘The slopes and cliffs reflect a highly unstable and dynamic landscape.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, there are not enough of the biggest bricks which means that the cross section of the tower is only one lego element wide at the top and very unstable.’
    • ‘Death of the whole tree will not be immediate, but reduced root development will make the larger trees unstable and therefore prone to wind-blow.’
    • ‘Even when it was discovered that the land was unstable and prone to landslide, the squatters remained.’
    • ‘Luckily, it caught a jar full of pencils, already unstable and perched precariously on the edge of the desk.’
    • ‘As you might be aware, Tokyo is built on some slightly unstable land, prone to all manner of natural disasters, especially earthquakes.’
    • ‘The last remaining member of the Hail family rose from her seat, balancing precariously on unstable legs.’
    • ‘Officers said overloaded caravans were unstable and difficult to control.’
    • ‘Conditions in the mine were so unstable that rescue workers could not enter the shaft to retrieve the bodies for almost 24 hours.’
    • ‘The choice of operation depends on how large the protrusion is, how many nerves are involved and how stable or unstable the spine is.’
    • ‘Such steep slopes are unstable and prone to slumping, so deltas often collapse.’
    • ‘Following this extended period of stability the slope, whilst still grazed grassland, suddenly became unstable.’
    unsteady, rocky, wobbly, wobbling, rickety, shaky, tottery, tottering, teetering, doddery, unsafe, unbalanced, unreliable, insecure, not secure, unfastened, unsecured, movable, precarious
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Prone to psychiatric problems or sudden changes of mood.
      ‘he was mentally unstable’
      • ‘If Khouri is as mentally unstable as the article implies then that's a bit harsh, don't you reckon?’
      • ‘When one is emotionally unstable, alcohol inhibits the ability to confront and solve problems.’
      • ‘It appears that he had a lively genius, but was unstable, erratic, and weak.’
      • ‘A hitman is assigned to kidnap the mentally unstable younger brother of a powerful district attorney.’
      • ‘Ray Liotta plays a reckless and unstable crime boss.’
      • ‘From seventeen year old kid with an unstable mother to his rise as a porn god to his fall from grace, Wahlberg is there every step of the way.’
      • ‘When a suspect is mentally unstable, officers are trained to back off and call in a crisis intervention team.’
      • ‘There are, unfortunately, people in the world who are unstable, and who may descend into madness.’
      • ‘Leading up to her death, the weeks before her death, many people seemed to think she was mentally unstable.’
      • ‘The ruling affected the treatment of mentally unstable prisoners during trials.’
      • ‘The men became uncontrollable, emotionally unstable and dangerously paranoid.’
      • ‘Betty is a successful writer who is forced to relive her traumatic childhood when her mentally unstable mother comes to visit.’
      • ‘We are expecting that the western media will portray him a crazy or an unstable person - he was the opposite.’
      • ‘So I didn't want to open the door to the mental hospital, but I was forced to because of her unstable state.’
      • ‘He is accusing this woman of mentally unstable demeanour when, in fact, he seems to be the most qualified for such a label.’
      • ‘Police say Bazell, who had a ticket for a domestic Delta flight, appeared mentally unstable.’
      • ‘Defence counsel argued that Cowle was mentally unstable, but the prosecution said he was not insane in the legal sense.’
      • ‘The diagnosis is that of an emotionally unstable borderline personality disorder.’
      • ‘Women, in comparison to men, also viewed the defendant as more psychologically unstable.’
      • ‘Both emotionally stable and unstable students can benefit from a better understanding of psychology.’

Pronunciation:

unstable

/ˌənˈstābəl/