Having little or no habit of just take a set or definite place or course therefore a suspended magnetized needle when rendered astatic manages to lose its polarity or tendency to point in certain way
- not fixed or stable
- Having little if any tendency to take a set or definite position or course: hence, a suspended magnetized needle, whenever rendered astatic, loses its polarity, or tendency to part of certain course.
1827, from Greek astatos "unstable, perhaps not steadfast," from a-, privative prefix (see a- (3)), + statos "placed, standing," from PIE root *sta- (see stet).
(a.) Having minimal habit of just take a hard and fast or definite position or way: thus, a suspended magnetized needle, whenever rendered astatic, manages to lose its polarity, or tendency to point in a given direction.
Attention was first directed to the possibility of rendering ordinary pendulums more truly astatic by Professor Thomas Gray, who suggested methods by which this might be accomplished.