instability

Instability is the quality of not being stable, balanced, or predictable. If you've ever walked out onto a diving board, you've probably noticed its instability — meaning the board bends and bounces as you move.

Instability comes from the Middle French word instabilite, meaning "unsteadiness." Instability can refer to objects that are not stable, but it can also describe unpredictable situations or relationships. For example, you might hear people talk about economic instability. Or if your behavior at school grows erratic and unpredictable, you might be asked to speak to a therapist about your psychological instability.

Definitions of instability
1

n a lack of balance or state of disequilibrium

Synonyms:
imbalance, unbalance
Antonyms:
balance
a state of equilibrium
Type of:
disequilibrium
loss of equilibrium attributable to an unstable situation in which some forces outweigh others

n the quality or attribute of being unstable and irresolute

Synonyms:
unstableness
Antonyms:
stability, stableness
the quality or attribute of being firm and steadfast
Types:
shakiness
the quality of being unstable and insecure
Type of:
unsteadiness
the quality of being unsteady--varying and unpredictable

n unreliability attributable to being unstable

Type of:
undependability, undependableness, unreliability, unreliableness
the trait of not being dependable or reliable

n an unstable order

Antonyms:
stability
a stable order (especially of society)
Type of:
disorder
a disturbance of the peace or of public order

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