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

  • adj. Chemistry Evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures.
  • adj. Chemistry That can be readily vaporized.
  • adj. Tending to vary often or widely, as in price: the ups and downs of volatile stocks.
  • adj. Inconstant; fickle: a flirt's volatile affections.
  • adj. Lighthearted; flighty: in a volatile mood.
  • adj. Ephemeral; fleeting.
  • adj. Tending to violence; explosive: a volatile situation with troops and rioters eager for a confrontation.
  • adj. Flying or capable of flying; volant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. evaporating or vaporizing readily under normal conditions.
  • adj. explosive.
  • adj. variable or erratic.
  • adj. quick to become angry or violent.
  • adj. fickle.
  • adj. temporary or ephemeral.
  • adj. potentially violent.
  • adj. having its associated memory immediately updated with any changes in value.
  • adj. whose content is lost when the computer is powered down

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Passing through the air on wings, or by the buoyant force of the atmosphere; flying; having the power to fly.
  • adj. Capable of wasting away, or of easily passing into the aëriform state; subject to evaporation.
  • adj. Fig.: Light-hearted; easily affected by circumstances; airy; lively; hence, changeable; fickle.
  • n. A winged animal; wild fowl; game.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the power of being readily converted into gas or vapor. Sometimes applied, in chemistry, to those constituents, or that portion, of a substance which is driven off by heating at a specified temperature.
  • Flying, or able to fly; having the power of flight; volant; volitant.
  • Having the quality of taking flight or passing off by spontaneous evaporation; evaporating rapidly; becoming diffused more or less freely in the atmosphere.
  • Lively; brisk; gay; full of spirit; airy; hence, fickle; apt to change: as, a volatile disposition.
  • Transient; not permanent; not lasting.
  • n. A winged creature, as a bird or butterfly.
  • n. Wild fowl collectively.

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

  • adj. tending to vary often or widely
  • adj. liable to lead to sudden change or violence
  • adj. marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments
  • n. a volatile substance; a substance that changes readily from solid or liquid to a vapor
  • adj. evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures


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

French, from Old French, from Latin volātilis, flying, from volātus, past participle of volāre, to fly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin volātilis ("flying; swift; temporary; volatile"), from volō ("I fly").



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