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used in The Scarlet Letter

only 1 use
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evaporating rapidly at normal temperatures and pressures


prone to physically explode
  • But, nevertheless, it is anything but agreeable to be haunted by a suspicion that one's intellect is dwindling away, or exhaling, without your consciousness, like ether out of a phial; so that, at every glance, you find a smaller and less volatile residuum.
    Introductory (83% in)
volatile = evaporating

(editor's note:  A person who lost intelligence is being compared to a vial whose content is mostly gone. In this context, phial is a synonym for vial—a small container that holds a liquid. Residuum is a synonym for residue—the chemical remains after much evaporation.)
There are no more uses of "volatile" in The Scarlet Letter.

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