Definition of perpetuum mobile in English:

perpetuum mobile

noun

  • 1

    another term for perpetual motion
    • ‘Tito's perpetuum mobile kept rotating during the stagnant 1970s.’
    • ‘We are amused by purported perpetuum mobile devices.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

perpetuum mobile

/pəːˌpɛtjʊəm ˈməʊbɪleɪ//ˈməʊbɪli/