changeable


changeable
changeable, changeful, variable, mutable, protean are comparable when meaning having or showing a marked capacity for changes or a marked tendency to alter itself or be altered under slight provocation.
Changeable, the ordinary and most comprehensive term of this group, usually suggests this as a characteristic or property that is the result of such reactions as inconstancy, fickleness, an unsettled state, a ready responsiveness to certain influences, or a roving habit
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changeable weather

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she was a fresh, cool, dewy thing . . . fitful and changeable with the whim of the moment— Hawthorne

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a changeable silk is one that seems to change its color with each change of position or point of view

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Changeful is a more poetic term than changeable; it throws greater stress on the fact of changing frequently than on the underlying characteristic or property which manifests itself in such changes
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the changeful April day— Southey

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he felt that life was changeful, fluid, active, and that to allow it to be stereotyped into any form was death— Wilde

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all your charms more changeful than the tide— Millay

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Variable carries an implication of subjection to frequent and often deeper changes than either of the preceding words; it stresses shifting or fluctuation as a characteristic or property and therefore usually connotes uncertainty or unpredictability
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a region of variable winds

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man himself was a variable, mixed and transitory creature; he could not escape the law of his own being— L. P. Smith

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the methods of statistics are so variable and uncertain . . . that it is never possible to be sure that one is operating with figures of equal weight— Ellis

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Mutable also implies subjection to change, but it suggests an opposition to unchanging, fixed, or permanent and therefore is less often applied to something fluctuating and variable than to something living, growing, or developing that shows changes due to progression or retrogression or to external influences or conditions over which the thing affected has no control
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my lord, you know what Virgil sings, woman is various and most mutableTennyson

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our view of any of these concepts, say justice, is mutable, changing from century to century, from place to place—G. W. Johnson

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our valuation of poetry . . . depends upon several considerations, upon the permanent and upon the mutable and transitory— T. S. Eliot

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Protean suggests a capacity for assuming many different forms or shapes without loss of identity ; the term therefore implies changeability with respect to outer manifestations rather than inner character or nature
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an amoeba is a protean animalcule

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the protean genius of Shakespeare

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for poetry is protean in its moods and dispositions, and its diction changes with its bents and its occasions— Lowes

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but an idea is a misty, vague object that takes on protean shapes, never the same for any two people— Dwight Macdonald

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Analogous words: unstable, *inconstant, mercurial, capricious, fickle: mobile, *movable
Antonyms: stable: unchangeable
Contrasted words: set, fixed, settled, established (see SET vb): unceasing, *everlasting: enduring, abiding, persisting or persistent (see corresponding verbs at CONTINUE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Changeable — may refer to: Changeables also known as McRobots, a toy series produced by McDonald s Changeable Hawk eagle, or Crested Hawk Eagle Swift Changeable Changeable Lizard, or Oriental garden lizard Changeable tree toad, or Gray tree frog Changeable… …   Wikipedia

  • changeable — [ ʃɑ̃ʒabl ] adj. • XIIe « inconstant »; de changer ♦ Qui peut être changé. ⇒ métamorphosable, modifiable, remplaçable, réversible. « des choses de convention, c est à dire à peu près immuables ou du moins fort lentement changeables » (Stendhal).… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Changeable — Change a*ble, a. [Cf. F. changeable.] 1. Capable of change; subject to alteration; mutable; variable; fickle; inconstant; as, a changeable humor. [1913 Webster] 2. Appearing different, as in color, in different lights, or under different… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • changeable — (adj.) mid 13c., from Fr. changeable, from changier (see CHANGE (Cf. change)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • changeable — index aleatory (uncertain), ambulatory, capricious, conditional, convertible, debatable, disordered …   Law dictionary

  • changeable — is spelt with an e in the middle to preserve the soft sound of the g …   Modern English usage

  • changeable — [adj] erratic agitated, capricious, changeful, commutative, convertible, fickle, fitful, flighty, fluctuating, fluid, impulsive, inconstant, indecisive, irregular, irresolute, irresponsible, kaleidoscopic, mercurial, mobile, movable, mutable,… …   New thesaurus

  • changeable — ► ADJECTIVE 1) liable to unpredictable variation. 2) able to be changed. DERIVATIVES changeability noun …   English terms dictionary

  • changeable — [chān′jə bəl] adj. [ME] 1. that can change or be changed; likely or tending to change; variable; alterable; fickle 2. having a changing appearance or color, as some silk when looked at from different angles; iridescent changeability n.… …   English World dictionary

  • changeable — adjective Date: 13th century capable of change: as a. able or apt to vary < changeable weather > b. subject to change ; alterable < changeable plans > c. fickle < a person changeable in his mood …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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