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Alternative forms[edit]


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


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


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 [2]