Definition of motile in English:



  • 1Botany Zoology
    (of cells, gametes, and single-celled organisms) capable of motion.

    ‘males produce small motile gametes’
    • ‘This has had a tremendous impact on fungal biology, because it means that no fungus can produce motile gametes, and two organisms must therefore come into direct physical contact to effect sexual reproduction.’
    • ‘These nucleated, motile cells could be used to study membrane dynamics.’
    • ‘Finally, greater moisture availability would enhance transfer of motile gametes, thereby leading to more successful sporophyte development.’
    • ‘Most are motile animals, but members of the order Stauromedusae are sessile.’
    • ‘From these data the proportion of motile cells was determined.’
    in motion, operating, operational, working, going, on the move, active
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  • 2Psychology
    Relating to or characterized by responses that involve muscular rather than audiovisual sensations.


Mid 19th century: from Latin motus motion, on the pattern of mobile.