Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In physical, being in equilibrium such that no displacement, distortion, or molecular or chemical change can be produced without the expenditure of work: said of a body which, when displaced, tends to return to its former position, or, when distorted, to its former shape, also of a substance which resists molecular or chemical change.
  • noun A building or an inclosure in which horses, cattle, and other domestic animals are lodged, and which is furnished with stalls, troughs, racks, and bins to contain their food and necessary equipments; in a restricted sense, such a building for horses and cows only; in a still narrower and now the most usual sense, such a building for horses only.
  • noun In racing slang, the horses belonging to a particular racing stable.
  • Firm; firmly fixed, settled, or established; that cannot be easily moved, shaken, or overthrown; steadfast: as, a stable structure; a stable government.
  • Fixed; steady; constant; permanent.
  • Fixed or firm in resolution or purpose; not wavering, fickle, or easily diverted: as, a man of stable character; also formerly, in a bad sense, obstinate; pertinacious.
  • Synonyms and
  • Durable, Permanent, etc. See lasting.
  • To put or keep in a stable, as horses.
  • To dwell or lodge in or as in a stable, as beasts.
  • To make stable; establish; ordain.
  • To make steady, firm, or sure; support.
  • To fix or hold fast, as in mire; mire; stall.
  • To stand firm; be confirmed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A house, shed, or building, for beasts to lodge and feed in; esp., a building or apartment with stalls, for horses
  • noun (Zoöl.) a common dipterous fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) which is abundant about stables and often enters dwellings, especially in autumn; called also biting house fly. These flies, unlike the common house flies, which they resemble, bite severely, and are troublesome to horses and cattle. They differ from the larger horse fly.
  • adjective Firmly established; not easily moved, shaken, or overthrown; fixed.
  • adjective Steady in purpose; constant; firm in resolution; not easily diverted from a purpose; not fickle or wavering.
  • adjective Durable; not subject to overthrow or change; firm
  • adjective (Physics) So placed as to resist forces tending to cause motion; of such structure as to resist distortion or molecular or chemical disturbance; -- said of any body or substance.
  • adjective (Mech.) the kind of equilibrium of a body so placed that if disturbed it returns to its former position, as in the case when the center of gravity is below the point or axis of support; -- opposed to unstable equilibrium, in which the body if disturbed does not tend to return to its former position, but to move farther away from it, as in the case of a body supported at a point below the center of gravity. Cf. Neutral equilibrium, under Neutral.
  • transitive verb To put or keep in a stable.
  • transitive verb obsolete To fix; to establish.
  • intransitive verb To dwell or lodge in a stable; to dwell in an inclosed place; to kennel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A building, wing or dependency set apart and adapted for lodging and feeding (and training) animals with hoofs, especially horses
  • noun all the racehorses of a particular stable, i.e. belonging to a given owner.
  • verb transitive to put or keep (horse) in a stable.
  • verb rail transport, transitive to park (a rail vehicle)
  • adjective Relatively unchanging, permanent; firmly fixed or established, consistent, not easily to be moved, changed, unbalanced, destroyed or altered in value.

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

  • adjective not taking part readily in chemical change
  • verb shelter in a stable
  • adjective resistant to change of position or condition
  • noun a farm building for housing horses or other livestock
  • adjective maintaining equilibrium
  • adjective showing little if any change
  • adjective firm and dependable; subject to little fluctuation

Etymologies

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

Middle English, from Old French estable, from Latin stabilis.
Middle English, from Old French estable, from Latin stabulum, stable, standing place.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin stabilis (itself from stare ("stand") + -abilis ("able"))

Examples

  • During that interview, the journalist asked me why I used the word stable or zoo in my previous interview and I explained it in detail.

    A Woman Among Warlords

  • The prospect that the country will stabilize soon (as opposed to eventually) and remain stable is not a reason for regarding the war as “successful” on the whole, though it might be a reason for thinking it was or is right to stick it out.

    Nothing Ends, Adrian. Nothing Ever Ends.

  • The term stable refers to a version of software that is substantially identical to a version that has been through enough real-world testing to reasonably assume there are no significant problems, or at least that any problems are known and documented.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper

  • The term stable refers to a version of software that is substantially identical to a version that has been through enough real-world testing to reasonably assume there are no showstopper problems, or at least that any problems are known and documented.

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • China and the U.S. have maintained what he describes as stable development, said Li.

    Trade, Debt, Territorial Issues Dominate US-China Talks

  • You see, I hope, what I mean, when I say that the universe of molecular physics is at a different level from the universe of common experience; — what we call stable and solid is in that world a freely moving system of interlacing centres of force, what we call colour and sound is there no more than this length of vibration or that.

    A Modern Utopia

  • Using what they call stable isotope analysis, bioarchaeologists can directly determine the dietary sources of carbon and nitrogen by measuring the ratios of carbon 12 and carbon 13 atoms, on the one hand, and of nitrogen 14 and nitrogen 15 atoms on the other.

    The Goddess and the Bull

  • But you are what we call stable, and that's the best we can hope for in this place.

    Critical Condition

  • You see, I hope, what I mean when I say that the universe of molecular physics is at a different level from the universe of common experience; -- what we call stable and solid is in that world a freely moving system of interlacing centres of force, what we call colour and sound is there no more than this length of vibration of that.

    First and Last Things

  • You see, I hope, what I mean, when I say that the universe of molecular physics is at a different level from the universe of common experience; -- what we call stable and solid is in that world a freely moving system of interlacing centres of force, what we call colour and sound is there no more than this length of vibration or that.

    A Modern Utopia

Comments

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  • Git yer horses inna some stable conditions, Doc.

    November 15, 2009

  • jesus wasn't born in a stable you know, they weren't even invented. It is a middle english word as well

    February 5, 2009