Volatile meaning

vŏlə-tl, -tīl
Frequency:
Volatile is defined as a substance that quickly evaporates.

An example of volatile is acetone.

noun
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The definition of volatile is tending to become violent or something that is rapidly evaporating.

An example of volatile is a young man who often gets into fist fights.

An example of volatile is the quality of the substance acetone.

adjective
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1
Vaporizing or evaporating quickly, as alcohol.
adjective
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(computers) Of or relating to memory whose data is erased when the memory's power is interrupted.
adjective
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2
(comput.) Designating or of memory that does not retain stored data when the power supply is disconnected or interrupted.
adjective
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Any flying creature.
noun
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(physics) Evaporating or vaporizing readily under normal conditions.
adjective
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(of a substance, informal) Explosive.
adjective
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(of a price etc) Variable or erratic.
adjective
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(of a person) Quick to become angry or violent.
adjective
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adjective
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adjective
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(of a situation) Potentially violent.
adjective
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(computing, of a variable) Having its associated memory immediately updated with any changes in value.
adjective
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(computing, of memory) Whose content is lost when the computer is powered down.
adjective
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Tending to violence; explosive.

A volatile situation with troops and rioters eager for a confrontation.

adjective
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Flying or capable of flying; volant.
adjective
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(obs.) Flying or able to fly; volitant.
adjective
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A volatile substance.
noun
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Evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures.
adjective
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Capable of being readily vaporized.
adjective
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Changing easily from liquid to vapor at normal temperatures and pressures. Essential oils used in perfumes are highly volatile.
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With regard to RAM memory, volatile means "temporary" rather than "highly changeable," which is the usual meaning of the word in English. See volatile memory and volatility.
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Origin of volatile

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

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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

    From Wiktionary