I want to find a way to convey the meaning of 'not being entrenched' and at the same time maintaining a formal / academic tone. The sentence I'm working with is:

The market share leader board is becoming incrementally _________.

For context: There is reshuffling of ranks at all segments of the leader board now (whereas in the past it was very static/entrenched).

My early attempts included (and reasons why rejected):

  • 'fluid' (seems too modernist)
  • 'dynamic' (while the opposite of static, seems too abstract here)
  • 'less entrenched' (unwieldy. I'm not 100% happy with using entrenched to describe a leader board)


What is an academic word that can convey that the leader board is 'less set in stone'? If there is no one magic word, a phrase would likely suffice.

  • 2
    Flexible, maybe?
    – user392935
    Aug 14, 2020 at 4:27
  • 1
    If "Flexible" sounds too common, go with Unsclerotic.
    – user392935
    Aug 14, 2020 at 4:49
  • 1
    Displaced (or perhaps adjustable)? Aug 14, 2020 at 6:54
  • Changeable, variable,... but your "dynamic" is the most "academic" synonym already IMO. Aug 14, 2020 at 12:40
  • Mutable? Aug 14, 2020 at 16:22

5 Answers 5


A leader board reflects changes in the rankings (by whatever means) of its underlying members, competitors, or components. Thus a good word would be


Subject to rapid and possibly unexpected change.



How about shifting? From M-W:

shift: to go through a change

Your example, slightly edited:

The market-share leaderboard is incrementally shifting.

The combination of incrementally and shifting conveys the impression that previously the leaderboard was not shifting, i.e., that the leaderboard was static or "entrenched".


A word that seems to be well suited to this is adaptable:

: capable of being or becoming adapted

// an adaptable tool that combines a screwdriver, a corkscrew, and pliers
// an activities director who's adaptable to any kind of situation

Unlike other synonyms, and in the context of the question, it has a specific sense of being able to "adapt to the times," which connotes a conscious effort towards positive change rather than just a general passive nature of being driven or manipulated by external forces.

Used in the example sentence:

The market share leader board is becoming incrementally adaptable.


Both forward-looking and progressive mean and encapsulate the opposite of entrenched:

forward-looking [adjective]

looking at the future in a positive way and happy to try new ideas and methods

a forward-looking policy/strategy/plan


forward-looking [adjective]

favouring innovation and development; progressive.

a forward-looking company



progressive ...

1b: making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities



As is often the case, the poster has fallen into a trap of his own making. If you dispense with the superfluous “incrementally”, you can say something that approximates more to English, such as:

The market share leader board is changing more and more.

However I dispute the idea that “leader board” is in any way academic or formal. To rework into formal English, while retaining the simplicity, I would write something like:

The companies with the greatest market share are changing more and more.

But to include a single word, so that the charge of not answering the question doesn‘t hold, I offer inchoate. It has the advantage that few people will understand it.

  • Off the mark by a light year!
    – user392935
    Aug 14, 2020 at 17:23
  • @Stockfish — Light year or not, I find your comment obscure. Or is it a play on words?
    – David
    Aug 15, 2020 at 11:41
  • Light year has more to do with distance than time!
    – user392935
    Aug 15, 2020 at 11:46

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