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Of, relating to, or being an unstable but relatively long-lived state of a chemical or physical system, as of a supersaturated solution or an excited atom.
met′a·sta·bil′i·ty (-stə-bĭl′ĭ-tē) n.
1. (General Physics) (of a body or system) having a state of apparent equilibrium although capable of changing to a more stable state
2. (General Physics) (of an atom, molecule, ion, or atomic nucleus) existing in an excited state with a relatively long lifetime
(General Physics) a metastable atom, ion, molecule, or nucleus
me•ta•sta•ble(ˈmɛt əˌsteɪ bəl, ˌmɛt əˈsteɪ-)
1. Metall. chemically unstable in the absence of certain conditions that would induce stability, but not liable to spontaneous transformation.
2. Physics, Chem. pertaining to a body or system that requires the addition of a small amount of energy to induce a transition to a more stable state at a lower energy level.
met`a•sta•bil′i•ty (-stəˈbɪl ɪ ti) n.
Describes a system which appears to be stable, but which can undergo a rapid change if disturbed.
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|Adj.||1.||metastable - (of physical systems) continuing in its present state of equilibrium unless sufficiently disturbed to pass to a more stable state of equilibrium|