One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Voluntary movement (of a muscle or the body). rare.
2Metaphysics. The self-generated or spontaneous motion of the soul.
3An optical illusion in which a small stationary object in a uniform background, especially a light source in an otherwise dark field, appears to move.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Robley Dunglison (1798–1869), physician and medical writer. Partly from Hellenistic Greek αὐτοκίνησις self-motion, and partly from auto- + -kinesis.
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