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From Latin mōtus, perfect passive participle of moveō (I move) (English move).



motile (comparative more motile, superlative most motile)

  1. (biology) Having the power to move spontaneously.
    • 1993 May 6, Burgess, Anthony, A Dead Man in Deptford, London: Hutchinson, →ISBN, OL 1047075M:
      It seemed to him that, if there were a Holy Trinity as the churches taught, this must be unified through a manner of capillary action, Father merging into Son and both into Holy Ghost. So God is motile as the blood is.
    • 2010 January 21, Emily Deschanel as Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan, “The Proof in the Pudding”, in Bones, season 5, episode 12, written by Bob Harris, 1:27:
      And even if they use condoms, Wendell is young. His sperm is likely to be extremely motile.
  2. Producing motion.
    motile powers
  3. (psychology) Of or relating to those mental images that arise from the sensations of bodily movement and position.


Related terms[edit]



motile (plural motiles)

  1. (psychology) A person whose prevailing mental imagery takes the form of inner feelings of action, such as incipient pronunciation of words, muscular innervations, etc.