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Alternative forms[edit]


Coined based on Ancient Greek κινέω ‎(kinéō, I put in motion) + αἴσθησις (-αισθησία) ‎(aísthēsis (-aisthēsía), sensation) (after anaesthesia, etc). Compare kinesthesis and Modern Greek κιναισθησία ‎(kinaisthisía).


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌkɪnɪsˈθiʒə/, /ˌkaɪnɪsˈθiʒə/ (see usage notes)


kinesthesia ‎(countable and uncountable, plural kinesthesias)

  1. Sensation or perception of motion.
    1. (physiology) The perception of the movement of one's own body, its limbs and muscles etc.
    2. (performing arts) A spectator's perception of the motion of a performer, or, the effect of the motion of a scene on the spectator.
  2. Proprioception or static position sense; the perception of the position and posture of the body; also, more broadly, including the motion of the body as well. See usage notes below.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The traditional rules of pronunciation of Greco-Latin vocabulary prefer the I in the first syllable to be long. The more common pronunciation with short I is by analogy with other words from this root such as kinetic and kinesiology where short I is expected.[1]
  • The etymological meaning of the word as used in physiology refers specifically to the motion of the body, and a distinction between kinesthesia and the sense of the position of the body is sometimes made in technical texts. In popular use the distinction is made less often.[2]


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  1. ^ John Sargeaunt, The Pronunciation of English Words Derived from the Latin, 1920. [1]
  2. ^ Terence R. Anthoney, Neuroanatomy and the Neurologic Exam: A Thesaurus of Synonyms, Similar-Sounding Non-Synonyms, and Terms of Variable Meaning, 1993. ISBN 0849386314 [2]