Etymology
Advertisement
stabilize (v.)
1861, originally of ships; probably a back-formation from stability, or else from French stabiliser. Related: Stabilized; stabilizing. Earlier verbs in the same sense were stabilitate (1640s) and simple stable (v.) "make steady or firm, make stable" (c. 1300), from Old French establir.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
stabilizer (n.)
1909 in aeronautical sense, agent noun from stabilize (v.).
Related entries & more 
destabilize (v.)

also destabilise, "deprive of stability," 1928 in a chemistry and physics sense; earlier (1919) with reference to political systems, commercial markets, etc.; see de- + stabilize. Related: Destabilized; destabilizing.

Related entries & more 
outrigger (n.)

"frame device used in the Pacific and Indian oceans to stabilize canoes," 1748, altered (by influence of rig) from outligger (late 15c.) "a spar projecting from a vessel," probably from the same root as Dutch uitlegger, literally "outlier;" see out- + lie (v.2). 

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
flying (adj.)

early 15c., replacing forms from Old English fleogende "flying, winged;" present-participle adjective from fly (v.1). The meaning "attached so as to have freedom of movement" (1670s) is the source of the nautical use (flying jib, etc.). Meaning "designed for rapid movement" (especially in military terms, e.g. flying camp) is from 1660s; meaning "passing, hasty, temporary, rapidly constructed" is from 1763.

Flying fish is from 1510s; flying buttress "segment of an arch projecting from a solid mass and serving to stabilize a wall" is from 1660s. Flying Dutchman, ghost ship off the Cape of Good Hope, is attested since 1790 [John MacDonald "Travels in Various Parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa"]. Various accounts are given of how it came to be condemned to sail the sea, beating against head-winds, till the day of judgment. It is said that the ship sometimes hails vessels with the request that they will take letters home.

Flying colors (1706) probably is from the image of a naval vessel with the national flag bravely displayed. Flying machine is from 1736 as a theoretical device. Flying saucer first attested 1947, though the image of saucers for unidentified flying objects is from at least 1880s.

Related entries & more