VO´LUBLE. adj. [volubilis, Lat.]
1. Formed so as to roll easily ; formed so as to be easily put in motion.
Neither the weight of the matter of which a cylinder is made, nor its round voluble form, which, meeting with a precipice, do necessarily continue the motion of it, are more imputable to that dead, choiceless creature in its first motion. Hammond
The adventitious corpuscles may produce stability in the matter they pervade, by expelling thence those voluble particles, which, whilst they continued, did by their shape unfit for cohesion, or by their motion, oppose coalition. Boyle
2. Rolling ; having quick motion.
This less voluble earth,
By shorter flight to th’ east; had left him there. Milton
Then voluble, and bold; now hid, now seen
Among thick-woven arborets. Milton’s Par. Lost, b, iv.
3. Nimble ; active. Applied to the tongue.
A friend promised to dissect a woman's tongue, and examine whether there may be in it certain juices, which render it so wonderfully voluble and flippant. Addison
These with voluble and flippant tongue, become mere echo’s. Watt’s Improvement of the Mind.
4. Fluent of words. It is applied to the speech, or the speaker.
Cassio, a knave very voluble ; no further conscionable, than in putting on meer form of civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing of his loose affection. Shakesp.
If voluble and sharp discourse be marr’d, Unkindneis blunts it more than marble hard. Shakespeare.
Note: Do you wonder, as I do, looking at portraits, whether the painted subject was open and talkative or withdrawn and chary of speech?
It’s something that always crosses my mind and it doesn’t matter whether the subject is a celebrity or a bystander “extra” on the painted stage.
First-personally, I alternate between the two extremes, but I think I’m overly voluble. Now voluble is over. The best job interview advice I ever received was “say as little as possible.”
“Voluble”: Samuel Johnson, The Dictionary of the English Language, 1755