• (British) IPA: /ˈleɪbaɪl/


  1. Liable to slip, err, fall, or apostatize.
  2. Apt or likely to change.
    Synonyms: unstable
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      Pythagoras [said] that each thing or matter was ever gliding and labile.
  3. (chemistry, of a compound or bond) Kinetically unstable; rapidly cleaved (and possibly reformed).
    Certain drugs can be conjugated to polymer molecules with a linkage that is labile at low pH to effect controlled release in a cellular endosome.
    Water ligands typically bind metals in a labile fashion and are rapidly interchanged in aqueous solution.
  4. (linguistics, of a verb) Able to change valency without changing its form; especially, able to be used both transitively and intransitively without changing its form.
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