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mercurial

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Definition tending to change quickly, frequently, and unpredictably

Much more rarely, mercurial can mean "related to mercury," as in "a mercurial thermometer."  When capitalized, Mercurial refers to the planet Mercury or to the mythological Roman god.
  • Nobody knows her mercurial moods better than Mary.
mercurial = tending to change quickly, frequently, and unpredictably
  • those whom I, with my mercurial temperament, had hurt or offended
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • mercurial = tending to change quickly, frequently, and unpredictably
  • she admires him, as though his mercurial nature, his temper, his massive dreams and little cruelties, served her only as sharp reminders of the turbulent longings within him, longings which she shares but lacks the temperament to utter and follow to their end.
    Arthur Miller  --  Death of a Salesman
  • mercurial = tending to change quickly, frequently, and unpredictably
  • He was not a mercurial man, who easily changed his point of view.
    Eliot, George  --  Brother Jacob
  • So our mercurial Ladislaw has a queer genealogy
    Eliot, George  --  Middlemarch
  • And mercurial trout,
    Thoreau, Henry David  --  Walden & on the Duty of Civil Disobedience
  • mercurial sore mouth
  • Astor was not overconfident of the stability and firm faith of these mercurial beings.
    Irving, Washington  --  Astoria or Anecdotes  of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains
  • the Mercurial canals
  • mercurial preparations
  • more than Mercurial thievishness
  • mercurial twists of temperament
  • But his mercurial mood shifted on me.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Twilight
  • It was just that Mike, brilliant, mercurial, irreverent Mike, was a little older and a little higher in the Shipboard pantheon than young Merin Aspic.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • Sedgwick had fulfilled his obligations as administrative head with a mercurial visit to the island at the end of November.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • He was in a mercurial Hastings temper, and a halter and chain looped over his bridle barely restrained him.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • "A mercurial product," Rinaldi said.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  A Farewell to Arms
  • Now he was just Will—maddening, mercurial, clever, funny Will—who patronized me and liked to play Professor Higgins to my Eliza Doolittle.
    Jojo Moyes  --  Me Before You
  • His moods are as black as my own at times and his temper just as mercurial.
    Libba Bray  --  Sweet Far Thing
  • Then, mercurially, as though he'd read the letter, by God, for the last time in his life, he stuffed it like so much excelsior into its envelope.
    J.D. Salinger  --  Franny and Zooey

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