[ moh-buh l, -beel or, esp. British, -bahyl ]
/ ˈmoʊ bəl, -bil or, esp. British, -baɪl /



Origin of mobile

1480–90; < Latin, neuter of mōbilis movable, equivalent to mō- (variant stem of movēre to move) + -bilis -ble


non·mo·bile, adjectivesem·i·mo·bile, adjectiveun·mo·bile, adjective

Definition for mobile (2 of 4)

[ moh-beel, moh-beel ]
/ moʊˈbil, ˈmoʊ bil /


a seaport in SW Alabama at the mouth of the Mobile River.
a river in SW Alabama, formed by the confluence of the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers. 38 miles (61 km) long.

Definition for mobile (3 of 4)


a combining form extracted from automobile, occurring as the final element in compounds denoting specialized types of motorized conveyances: snowmobile; especially productive in coinages naming vehicles equipped to procure or deliver objects, provide services, etc., to people without regular access to these: bloodmobile; bookmobile; clubmobile; jazzmobile.

Definition for mobile (4 of 4)

primum mobile
[ pree-moo m moh-bi-le; English prahy-muh m mob-uh-lee, pree- ]
/ ˈpri mʊm ˈmoʊ bɪˌlɛ; English ˈpraɪ məm ˈmɒb əˌli, ˈpri- /

noun Latin.

(in Ptolemaic astronomy) the outermost of the 10 concentric spheres of the universe, making a complete revolution every 24 hours and causing all the others to do likewise.

Origin of primum mobile

literally, first moving (thing) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for mobile

British Dictionary definitions for mobile (1 of 4)

/ (ˈməʊbaɪl) /



  1. a sculpture suspended in midair with delicately balanced parts that are set in motion by air currents
  2. (as modifier)mobile sculpture Compare stabile
short for mobile phone

Word Origin for mobile

C15: via Old French from Latin mōbilis, from movēre to move

British Dictionary definitions for mobile (2 of 4)

/ (ˈməʊbiːl, məʊˈbiːl) /


a port in SW Alabama, on Mobile Bay (an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico): the state's only port and its first permanent settlement, made by French colonists in 1711. Pop: 193 464 (2003 est)

British Dictionary definitions for mobile (3 of 4)

/ (məʊˌbiːl) /

suffix forming nouns

indicating a vehicle designed for a particular person or purposePopemobile

British Dictionary definitions for mobile (4 of 4)

primum mobile
/ Latin (ˈpraɪmʊm ˈməʊbɪlɪ) /


a prime mover
astronomy the outermost empty sphere in the Ptolemaic system that was thought to revolve around the earth from east to west in 24 hours carrying with it the inner spheres of the planets, sun, moon, and fixed stars

Word Origin for primum mobile

C15: from Medieval Latin: first moving (thing)
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

Cultural definitions for mobile


A sculpture made up of suspended shapes that move.

notes for mobile

Alexander Calder, a twentieth-century American sculptor, is known for his mobiles.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.