Yes, I consulted a thesaurus, no help (or I couldn't use it properly). I need an adjective that describes a process that develops rapidly and is full of events (regardless of whether they are good or bad) as opposed to something stagnant, not changing. For example, '[word] political life of [a country]'. 'Turbulent' has negative connotations, I need something neutral or, maybe, slightly sarcastic. I also know the word 'eventful'. It doesn't fit either, in my view.

  • volatile synonyms. Sep 21, 2020 at 12:10
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica I haven't found a single word that suits my needs Sep 21, 2020 at 20:04
  • Please explain why volatile and fluid, for example, don't suit your needs. Sep 22, 2020 at 15:46
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica "Liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse" Whereas I need a word that describes something that does changes rapidly (not just "liable") and is packed with events and developments Sep 22, 2020 at 23:59
  • I wouldn't take too much notice of that "especially for the worse", even for volatile. It's not so much part of the meaning of the word - just that pragmatically speaking, unstable rapidly-changing environments are usually "problematic" (evolution being the archetypal context to illustrate the fact that "random change" is more likely to be bad than good). But personally I'd very specifically say that using fluid rather than volatile completely does away with that element anyway. Sep 23, 2020 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


You could use the word "unstable", which doesn't necessarily suggest that it changes quickly, but it does mean something could change at any time.

Otherwise, I can't think of a single, widely-used adjective to describe something that changes rapidly. Those are two different qualities. You might as well ask for a single adjective that describes something that moves and is red.

I would suggest you use a hyphenated compound of two words instead. Here are some possibilities:

  • Rapidly-evolving
  • Ever-changing
  • Constantly-developing
  • Fast-moving

Any of the above could potentially be mixed-and-matched, although these sound the most idiomatic to my ears.

There is also the expression "in a state of flux" which pretty much means unstable, but it wouldn't insert into your sentence without some re-writing.

  • Perhaps also action-packed?
    – mdewey
    Sep 21, 2020 at 13:07

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