Definition of kinematics in English:


plural noun

  • 1usually treated as singular The branch of mechanics concerned with the motion of objects without reference to the forces which cause the motion.

    Compare with dynamics
    • ‘In 1903 he published Geometrie der Dynamen which considered euclidean kinematics and the mechanics of rigid bodies.’
    • ‘Drosophila melanogaster has been a valuable model system for the analysis of flight kinematics, aerodynamics and mechanics.’
    • ‘The software includes sample analysis, related movies, and activity guides for topics such as kinematics and dynamics.’
    • ‘However when I learned calculus a whole new appreciation for kinematics blossomed.’
    • ‘Again I want to note that because photons are massless, Newtonian kinematics and ‘force’ do us absolutely no good here.’
    1. 1.1usually treated as plural The features or properties of motion in an object.
      • ‘Locomotor kinematics in mackerel are similar to tuna and mackerel swim steadily at speeds of 1-2 body lengths per second in the field.’
      • ‘A rowing fin that oscillates about its root requires slightly different kinematics from the simple heaving and pitching plate.’
      • ‘Acanthophis slightly modified the typical elapid morphology which allowed it to approach but not achieve viper-like kinematics.’
      • ‘Steady swimming behavior was first studied via video analysis of basic kinematics in steadily swimming rainbow trout.’
      • ‘At any speed, a combination of kinematics generating thrust in excess of drag will permit a bird to accelerate.’


Mid 19th century: from Greek kinēma, kinēmat- ‘motion’ (from kinein ‘to move’) + -ics.