meaning of stable vs. stabile

These two words have similar meanings, with a subtle difference.

(adjective) steady in position or balance; not easily disrupted; sane or rational
That rickety old ladder doesn’t look very stable.
(adjective) immobile, stationary; resistant to physical or chemical change, unchangeable
For use in steamfloods, tubulars must have coatings that are stabile in salt water up to 500°F.
(noun) Art: A free-standing abstract sculpture or structure, typically of wire or sheet metal, in the style of a mobile but rigid and stationary.


stable (English)

  • constant
  • stal (voor paarden)
  • stabiel
  • stabiel
  • [ELECTRON., PHYS.] stabiel

stabile (English)

  1. stabile (abstract kunstwerk zonder bewegende delen)
  2. stabiel; immobiel, stationair


stabile, a.
1.1 Firmly established, enduring, lasting. rare.
Used by a few writers to express more unequivocally the etymological sense of stable a. 
2.2 Fixed in position; spec. in Electro-therapeutics, held firmly upon one point or over one part (as opposed to labile a. 4). 

stabile, n.
A rigid sculpture or similar construction of wire, sheet metal, etc., of a type first developed by Alexander Calder 1898–1976), Amer. sculptor and painter, opp. mobile n.3 1 a. (The name was suggested by Jean Arp.)