Adjective: volatile 'vó-lu-t(u)l [N. Amer], 'vó-lu,tI(-u)l [Brit]
Noun: volatile 'vó-lu-t(u)l [N. Amer], 'vó-lu,tI(-u)l [Brit]
- (chemistry) evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures
"volatile oils"; "volatile solvents"
- Liable to lead to sudden change or violence
"a volatile situation with troops and rioters eager for a confrontation";
- Marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments
"a flirt's volatile affections";
- Tending to vary often or widely
"volatile stocks"; "volatile emotions"
- A volatile substance; a substance that changes readily from solid or liquid to a vapour
"it was heated to evaporate the volatiles"
Derived forms: volatiles
See also: changeable, changeful, evaporable, inconstant, unstable, vaporific, vaporisable [Brit], vaporizable, vapourific [Brit, Cdn], vapourisable [Brit], volatilisable [Brit], volatilizable
Type of: substance