Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “volatile”

volatile

adjective    /ˈvɑl·ə·t̬əl/
likely to change suddenly and unexpectedly, or suddenly violent or angry: It was a volatile situation, and the police handled it well. The stock market was highly volatile in the early part of the year. chemistry If a substance, esp. a liquid, is volatile, it will change easily into a gas: volatile chemicals volatility    /ˌvɑl·əˈtɪl·ɪ·t̬i/ noun [U] Volatility in wheat on Wednesday resulted in a single-day trading record in Kansas City.
(Definition of volatile adjective from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of volatile

Definitions of “volatile” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

handout

a document given to students or reporters which contains information about a particular subject

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More