Definition of motile in English:



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

    • ‘Finally, greater moisture availability would enhance transfer of motile gametes, thereby leading to more successful sporophyte development.’
    • ‘From these data the proportion of motile cells was determined.’
    • ‘Most are motile animals, but members of the order Stauromedusae are sessile.’
    • ‘These nucleated, motile cells could be used to study membrane dynamics.’
    • ‘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.’
    in motion, operating, operational, working, going, on the move, active
    View synonyms
  • 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.