• synonyms

motu proprio

[moh-too proh-pree-oh]
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noun Latin.
  1. any of certain documents issued by the pope without counsel from others.
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Origin of motu proprio

literally, of one's own accord

proprio motu

[praw-pri-oh moh-too; English proh-pree-oh moh-too]
adverb Latin.
  1. by one's own volition; on one's own initiative.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for motu

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • When the Motu people hear that Koiarians are coming, they hide their valuables.

  • The Motu tribe has already had great influence, and will have more and more every year.

  • When all was finished I gave my present, and said a few words in the Motu dialect.

  • Na Motu is the quaint title of a handsome volume of voyage and adventure in the South Seas.

  • The Motu hold that sua (ghosts or spirits) are seen in dreams, and that when a man sleeps his own sua leaves his body.

British Dictionary definitions for motu


  1. Hinglish derogatory a fat man or boy
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Word Origin

C21: Hindi


  1. plural -tu or -tus a member of an aboriginal people of S Papua
  2. the language of this people, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian family
  3. Also called: Hiri Motu, (esp formerly) Police Motu a pidgin version of this language, widely used in Papua-New GuineaCompare Neo-Melanesian
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motu proprio

  1. an administrative papal bull
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Word Origin

Latin: of his own accord
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