from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not firm, solid, or securely in place; unstable.
  • adj. Fluctuating; changeable: an unsteady market.
  • adj. Not even or regular; wavering: an unsteady voice.
  • transitive v. To cause to become unsteady.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not held firmly in position, physically unstable.
  • adj. Noted for lack of regularity or uniformity.
  • adj. Inconstant in purpose, or volatile in behaviour.
  • v. To render unsteady, removing balance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In mech., having a motion which is not uniform or which does not take place with a constant angular velocity, or around a permanent axis through the center of gravity of the mass. Revolving bodies out of running balance have an unsteady motion.
  • Not steady.
  • To make unsteady; cause to be fluctuating.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. subject to change or variation
  • adj. not firmly or solidly positioned


Created by adding the prefix un- to steady. Like steady, the word first appeared in English around 1530. The word is comparable to the Old Frisian onstedich, the Low German unstadig etc. (Wiktionary)


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