[ki-net-ik, kahy-]


pertaining to motion.
caused by motion.
characterized by movement: Running and dancing are kinetic activities.

Origin of kinetic

1850–55; < Greek kīnētikós moving, equivalent to kīnē- (verbid stem of kīneîn to move) + -tikos -tic
Related formski·net·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·ki·net·ic, adjective


a combining form found on adjectives that correspond to nouns ending in -kinesia or -kinesis: bradykinetic.

Origin of -kinetic

< Greek kīnēt(ós) (see kineto-) + -ic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kinetic

Contemporary Examples of kinetic

  • What looks like filthy chaos at the moment is actually the  kinetic energy that gives birth to modern metropolises.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Great Cities are Born Filthy

    Will Doig

    July 13, 2014

  • There was a kinetic energy, a vibrancy that leapt off the screen that did, indeed, dazzle.

    The Daily Beast logo
    ‘American Hustle’ Is Overrated

    Kevin Fallon

    January 28, 2014

  • Later, in 1996, Perry turned a quick $38,000 profit thanks to a fortuitously timed investment in Kinetic Concepts stock.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Perry’s Controversial Money Man

    Michelle Goldberg

    September 7, 2011

  • It is an impressive film: crisp, beautiful, kinetic, with humor as dark as its lighting.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Social Network's Female Props

    Rebecca Davis O'Brien

    October 3, 2010

Historical Examples of kinetic

British Dictionary definitions for kinetic



relating to, characterized by, or caused by motion
Derived Formskinetically, adverb

Word Origin for kinetic

C19: from Greek kinētikos, from kinein 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 kinetic

"relating to motion," 1841, from Greek kinetikos "moving, putting in motion," from kinetos "moved," verbal adjective of kinein "to move" (see cite).

Buster Keaton's subject was kinetic man, a being he approached with the almost metaphysical awe we reserve for a Doppelgänger. This being was, eerily, himself, played by himself, then later in a projection room, watched by himself: an experience never possible to any generation of actors in the previous history of the world. [Hugh Kenner, "The Counterfeiters," 1968]

Related: Kinetical; kinetically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

kinetic in Medicine


[kə-nĕtĭk, kī-]


Of, relating to, or produced by motion.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.