Definitions

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

  • adj. Resistant to change of position or condition; not easily moved or disturbed: a house built on stable ground; a stable platform.
  • adj. Not subject to sudden or extreme change or fluctuation: a stable economy; a stable currency.
  • adj. Maintaining equilibrium; self-restoring: a stable aircraft.
  • adj. Enduring or permanent: a stable peace.
  • adj. Consistently dependable; steadfast of purpose.
  • adj. Not subject to mental illness or irrationality: a stable personality.
  • adj. Physics Having no known mode of decay; indefinitely long-lived. Used of atomic particles.
  • adj. Chemistry Not easily decomposed or otherwise modified chemically.
  • n. A building for the shelter and feeding of domestic animals, especially horses and cattle.
  • n. A group of animals lodged in such a building.
  • n. All the racehorses belonging to a single owner or racing establishment. See Synonyms at flock1.
  • n. The personnel employed to keep and train such a group of racehorses.
  • n. A group, as of athletes or entertainers, under common management: a stable of prizefighters.
  • transitive v. To put or keep in or as if in a stable.
  • intransitive v. To live in or as if in a stable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Firmly established; not easily moved, shaken, or overthrown; fixed.
  • adj. Steady in purpose; constant; firm in resolution; not easily diverted from a purpose; not fickle or wavering.
  • adj. Durable; not subject to overthrow or change; firm
  • adj. 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.
  • transitive v. To fix; to establish.
  • n. A house, shed, or building, for beasts to lodge and feed in; esp., a building or apartment with stalls, for horses
  • transitive v. To put or keep in a stable.
  • intransitive v. To dwell or lodge in a stable; to dwell in an inclosed place; to kennel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. In racing slang, the horses belonging to a particular racing stable.
  • To put or keep in a stable, as horses.
  • To dwell or lodge in or as in a stable, as beasts.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

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

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

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French estable, from Latin stabilis.
Middle English, from Old French estable, from Latin stabulum, stable, standing place.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin stabilis (itself from stare ("stand") + -abilis ("able")) (Wiktionary)

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