Definition of perpetuum mobile in English:

perpetuum mobile


  • 1

    another term for perpetual motion
    • ‘His preoccupations caricature Fedor's preoccupation with infinity by reducing what is for Fedor a kind of otherworldly transcendence to the pragmatism of a perpetuum mobile.’
    • ‘Tito's perpetuum mobile kept rotating during the stagnant 1970s.’
    • ‘We are amused by purported perpetuum mobile devices.’
  • 2Music

    another term for moto perpetuo
    • ‘Op. 54 is in two movements, minuet and a kind of perpetuum mobile, often referred to as a toccata: its form and style can't be found elsewhere in Beethoven.’
    • ‘Other 20th-century composers, for instance Honegger, Martin, and Prokofiev, wrote toccatas in perpetuum mobile style, following the example of Schumann.’


Latin, literally ‘continuously moving (thing)’, on the pattern of primum mobile.


perpetuum mobile

/ˈməʊbɪli//pəːˌpɛtjʊəm ˈməʊbɪleɪ/