Word of the day

The word for today is…

volatile (adj) – 1. (Chemistry) (a) Evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures.
(b) Capable of being readily vaporised.
2. (a) Tending to vary often or widely, as in price.
(b) Inconstant; fickle.
(c) Lighthearted; flighty.
(d) Ephemeral; fleeting.
3. Tending to violence; explosive.
4. Flying or capable of flying; volant.
5. (Computers) Of or relating to memory whose data is erased when the memory’s power is interrupted.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Volatile was originally for the birds?quite literally. Back in the 14th century, volatile was a noun that referred to birds (especially wild fowl) or other winged creatures, such as butterflies. That’s not as flighty as it sounds. Volatile traces back to the Latin verb volare, which means “to fly.” By the end of the 16th century, people were using volatile as an adjective for things that were so light they seemed ready to fly. The adjective was soon extended to vapors and gases, and by the early 17th century, volatile was being applied to individuals or things as prone to sudden change as some gaseous substances.

In recent years, volatile has landed in economic, political, and technical contexts far flown from its avian origins.