from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Of, relating to, or being an unstable and transient but relatively long-lived state of a chemical or physical system, as of a supersaturated solution or an excited atom.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Of or pertaining to a physical or chemical state that is relatively long-lived, but may decay to a lower energy state when slightly perturbed or through a quantum transition.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In phys. ehem., having a stability of such sort that a minute impressed change of conditions may produce a disturbance not proportional to the impressed change.
- In thermodynamics, in a state intermediate between stable equilibrium and unstable equilibrium, but approaching stability as nearly as the conditions will permit.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. (of physical systems) continuing in its present state of equilibrium unless sufficiently disturbed to pass to a more stable state of equilibrium
meta- + stable (Wiktionary)