from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Roman Mythology Of or relating to the god Mercury.
- adj. Astronomy Of or relating to the planet Mercury.
- adj. Having the characteristics of eloquence, shrewdness, swiftness, and thievishness attributed to the god Mercury.
- adj. Containing or caused by the action of the element mercury.
- adj. Quick and changeable in temperament; volatile: a mercurial nature.
- n. A pharmacological or chemical preparation containing mercury.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Volatile; erratic; unstable; flighty; fickle or changeable in temperament.
- adj. Lively; clever; sprightly; animated; quick-witted.
- adj. Of, or pertaining to the element mercury; containing mercury; caused by the action of mercury or quicksilver.
- adj. Having characteristics attributed to the Roman god Mercury, such as swiftness, eloquence, shrewdness, and thievishness.
- adj. (often capitalized, see Mercurial) Of or pertaining to the Roman god Mercury.
- adj. (often capitalized, see Mercurial) Of or pertaining to the planet Mercury; under the supposed astrological influence of the planet Mercury.
- n. A chemical containing mercury.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Having the qualities fabled to belong to the god Mercury; swift; active; sprightly; fickle; volatile; changeable
- adj. Having the form or image of Mercury; -- applied to ancient guideposts.
- adj. Of or pertaining to Mercury as the god of trade; hence, money-making; crafty.
- adj. Of or pertaining to, or containing, mercury. See Mercury, 2.
- adj. Caused by the use of mercury.
- n. A person having mercurial qualities.
- n. A preparation containing mercury.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- [capitalized] Pertaining to the god Mercury; having the form or qualities attributed to Mercury.
- Like Mercury in character; having the moral or mental qualities ascribed to the god Mercury, or supposed by astrologists to belong to those under his star, the planet Mercury; light-hearted; gay; active; sprightly; flighty; fickle; changeable; volatile.
- Pertaining to Mercury as god of trade; hence, pertaining to trade or money-making: as, mercurial pursuits.
- Pertaining to Mercury as herald; hence, giving intelligence; pointing out; directing.
- Pertaining or relating to mercury or quicksilver.
- n. A person possessing any of the attributes of the god Mercury; one of mercurial temperament; a sprightly person; also, one given to trickery; a cheat or thief.
- n. A preparation of mercury used as a drug.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. relating to or under the (astrological) influence of the planet Mercury
- adj. liable to sudden unpredictable change
- adj. relating to or containing or caused by mercury
- adj. relating to or having characteristics (eloquence, shrewdness, swiftness, thievishness) attributed to the god Mercury
I guess the "mercurial" is a pretty negative thing.
Jobs is often described as mercurial and prone to outbursts, while Cook, who was raised in a small town in Alabama, is polite and soft-spoken, The Times reports.
A number of people have described Denny as "mercurial" - the commanding personality who was sometimes afraid to go onstage.
Carlos Zambrano -- who almost defines the term "mercurial" -- can put his head in the game tonight long enough to beat a tough pitcher in Braves made bigger news than their loss last night; just a couple of days after I asked Martin at the Braves released him.
Brown has been described as mercurial, even erratic.
He's best described as a mercurial person, so there's a chance he might yet change his mind -- selfishly, I hope he does -- but his decision is consistent with the person he is and was and always will be.
As a businesswoman, she was called mercurial, cunning, cynical, and calculating, but personally she was softhearted and had a passion for helping the less fortunate who called her “the Angel of the West”.
He's best described as a mercurial person, so there's a chance he might yet ...
McCain is described as mercurial and adversarial; he has become notorious for his temper tantrums and many believe he suffers from untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder resulting from his six years as a P.O.W. Despite these marked personal differences, the starkest contrast between Obama and McCain is in their worldviews.
He was very often described as mercurial, difficult to work with.