- Biology. moving or capable of moving spontaneously: motile cells; motile spores.
Origin of motile
1860–65; < Latin mōt(us) (past participle of movēre to move, set in motion) + -ile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for motility
The motility of the face, head, and neck was not noticeably impaired.Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:
Louis Marshall Warfield
They have their cells boxed in by cellulose walls, so that their opportunities for motility are greatly restricted.
Their cells have not cellulose walls, nor in most cases much wall of any kind, and motility in the majority is unrestricted.
It is by traversing its scope of motility that the mind finds out what the norms of logic are.
Accordingly he is convinced that that stage is the final consideration of his scope of motility.
- capable of moving spontaneously and independently
- psychol a person whose mental imagery strongly reflects movement, esp his own
C19: from Latin mōtus moved, from movēre to move
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for motility
"capacity of movement," 1827, from French motilité (1827), from Latin mot-, stem of movere "to move" (see move (v.)).
"capable of movement," 1831, back-formation from motility.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Moving or having the power to move spontaneously.
- Of or relating to mental imagery that arises primarily from sensations of bodily movement and position rather than from visual or auditory sensations.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- Moving or able to move by itself. Sperm and certain spores are motile.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.