Definition of “volatile” - English Dictionary

“volatile” in British English

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volatileadjective

uk /ˈvɒl.ə.taɪl/ us /ˈvɑː.lə.t̬əl/

likely to change suddenly and unexpectedly or suddenly become violent or angry:

Food and fuel prices are very volatile in a war situation.
The situation was made more volatile by the fact that people had been drinking a lot of alcohol.
He had a volatile temper and couldn't have been easy to live with.

A volatile liquid or solid substance will change easily into a gas.

volatility
noun [ U ] uk /ˌvɒl.əˈtɪl.ə.ti/ us /ˌvɑː.ləˈtɪl.ə.t̬i/

(Definition of “volatile” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“volatile” in American English

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volatileadjective

us /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
noun [ U ] us /ˌvɑl·əˈtɪl·ɪ·t̬i/

Volatility in wheat on Wednesday resulted in a single-day trading record in Kansas City.

(Definition of “volatile” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“volatile” in Business English

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volatileadjective

uk /ˈvɒlətaɪl/ us /ˈvɑːlətəl/

likely to change often or suddenly and unexpectedly:

American technology shares remain volatile.
a volatile fund/investment/market
Property has always been less volatile than shares or gilts.
volatility
noun [ U ]

Some investors are nervous about market volatility.

(Definition of “volatile” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)