[ moh-buhl, -beel or, especially British, -bahyl ]
See synonyms for mobile on
  1. capable of moving or being moved readily.

  2. Digital Technology. pertaining to or noting a cell phone, usually one with computing ability, or a portable, wireless computing device used while held in the hand, as in mobile tablet; mobile PDA; mobile app.

  1. utilizing motor vehicles for ready movement: a mobile library.

  2. Military. permanently equipped with vehicles for transport.

  3. flowing freely, as a liquid.

  4. changeable or changing easily in expression, mood, purpose, etc.: a mobile face.

  5. quickly responding to impulses, emotions, etc., as the mind.

  6. Sociology.

    • characterized by or permitting the mixing of social groups.

    • characterized by or permitting relatively free movement from one social class or level to another.

  7. of or relating to a mobile.

  1. a piece of sculpture having delicately balanced units constructed of rods and sheets of metal or other material suspended in midair by wire or twine so that the individual parts can move independently, as when stirred by a breeze.: Compare stabile (def. 3).

  1. Informal. a mobile home.

  2. Citizens Band Radio Slang. a vehicle.

Origin of mobile

First recorded in 1450–1500; late Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin, neuter of mōbilis “movable,” contraction of assumed movibilis, equivalent to movi- (stem of movēre “to set in motion, impel, move”) + -bilis adjective suffix; see origin at move,-ble

Other words from mobile

  • non·mo·bile, adjective
  • sem·i·mo·bile, adjective
  • un·mo·bile, adjective

Words Nearby mobile

Other definitions for Mobile (2 of 3)

[ moh-beel, moh-beel ]

  1. a seaport in SW Alabama at the mouth of the Mobile River.

  2. a river in SW Alabama, formed by the confluence of the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers. 38 miles (61 km) long.

Other definitions for -mobile (3 of 3)


  1. 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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use mobile in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mobile (1 of 3)


/ (ˈməʊbaɪl) /

  1. having freedom of movement; movable

  2. changing quickly in expression: a mobile face

  1. sociol (of individuals or social groups) moving within and between classes, occupations, and localities: upwardly mobile

  2. (of military forces) able to move freely and quickly to any given area

  3. (postpositive) informal having transport available: are you mobile tonight?

    • a sculpture suspended in midair with delicately balanced parts that are set in motion by air currents

    • (as modifier): mobile sculpture Compare stabile

  1. short for mobile phone

Origin of mobile

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

British Dictionary definitions for Mobile (2 of 3)


/ (ˈməʊbiːl, məʊˈbiːl) /

  1. 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 3)


/ (məʊˌbiːl) /

suffix forming nouns
  1. indicating a vehicle designed for a particular person or purpose: Popemobile

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.