Definition of movable in US English:


(also moveable)


  • 1Capable of being moved.

    ‘they stripped the town of all movable objects and fled’
    • ‘The first mechanical element is movable relative to the casing, between an engaged position and a disengaged position.’
    • ‘There are three kinds of freely movable joints that play a big part in voluntary movement.’
    • ‘In the first, a movable die travels horizontally towards a similar stationary die.’
    • ‘Padlocks provide portable security for movable items such as bikes and boats and in locations such as lockers and outdoor sheds.’
    • ‘Over the past dozen years this Steinbach lawyer has dedicated his efforts to research the lineage of Mennonites throughout their moveable history from country to country.’
    • ‘Once orbiting the Earth the crew delicately manoeuvred a 100 ft movable crane tipped with lasers and a camera to inspect the wings and nose for damage.’
    • ‘I imagined a future me, rolling down the aisles of the Target store in my moveable chair thing that I bought, my dutiful husband lugging my oxygen tank, trying to keep up with me.’
    • ‘The search for solutions to this problem led to the development of mobile computers mounted on mobile or movable facilities.’
    • ‘Lightweight is the basic reason for using aluminum in all types of transportation equipment, as well as in moving and movable parts in general.’
    • ‘Wind instruments are tuned by adjustment to the length of tubing, using the tuning-slide on a brass instrument, the staple of the reed on an oboe, or the movable top joint of a flute, etc.’
    • ‘In trying to recover from the turbulence, the first officer moved the rudder, the big fin on the back of the tail fin, the moveable piece, back and forth, back and forth.’
    • ‘You want furniture that is of course kid-size, but you also want it to be easily moveable and light-weight enough so that the children themselves can move it around as necessary.’
    • ‘One of the unique features about this museum is that the exhibits are in moveable cases so we can take them out and transform the function area.’
    • ‘The school's performance center will have moveable seating so auditorium-type settings can be easily converted mechanically to settings suitable for small work groups.’
    • ‘The synovial joints are the most freely movable joints.’
    • ‘In England, France and Germany magic lanterns, moveable gauze screens and transparencies had been used to experiment with light on stage since the seventeenth century.’
    • ‘The pool was closed for two weeks in February, including half-term week, for a complete overhaul of the electrics, pool filters and the mechanics of the moveable floor.’
    • ‘Storm windows should have weatherstripping at all moveable joints; be made of strong, durable materials; and have interlocking or overlapping joints.’
    • ‘The council wants the agency to re-consider the installation of moveable flood walls around the Shallows in the centre of the village, because of concerns about the visual impact of permanent flood banks.’
    • ‘The cost of a move in a building with a raised floor and movable partitions would be closer to $166 than to $3,640.’
    portable, transportable, transferable
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a feast or festival) variable in date from year to year.
      See also movable feast
      • ‘Since the feast is movable, the changes are often made to avoid Easter week conflicts.’
      • ‘Meskel, or the Festival of the True Cross, is celebrated on moveable days in late September.’
      • ‘Our Lady of Sorrows: known as "sorrowful" or "painful" Friday, the day is movable in that it occurs on the Friday before Palm Sunday.’
      • ‘It was here that the notion of Vote for Change as a moveable multi-artist feast first began to germinate.’
      variable, changeable, alterable, unfixed, floating
      View synonyms
  • 2Law
    (of property) of the nature of a chattel, as distinct from land or buildings.

    Compare with heritable
    • ‘Private ownership of both land and moveable property is also subject to statutes governing financial solvency, such that bankrupts can have their land and other property sold to balance their debt.’
    • ‘Resources can be external, material goods, such as land and moveable property.’
    • ‘It governs, inter alia, capacity to marry, the legitimacy of children, and succession after death to moveable property and it is one of the tests of the validity of a Will.’
    • ‘If the deceased is survived by a spouse, the descendants are entitled to claim legal rights over, and share between them, a third of the deceased's movable property.’
    • ‘The inheritance of land is often separated from that of movable property.’
    • ‘Three years after its inception, Namibia Wildlife Resorts is still in the process of having the resorts and other movable assets transferred so that they can be under its ownership.’


usually movables
  • 1Property or possessions not including land or buildings.

    • ‘For the first three years of Cosine's existence the valuations used for determining the withdrawal-share were based upon the replacement cost of movables and improvements, which included buildings.’
    • ‘It was a wealth tax levied entirely on movables, and not on land.’
    • ‘… The feudal ownership of land did bring dignity, whereas the modern ownership of movables is reducing us again to a nomadic horde.’
    • ‘The law allows compensation only for buildings and land, not for movables like the greenhouses' computerized irrigation systems.’
    • ‘Enterprises in Bulgaria can receive loans under effective credit lines or by pledging movables or mortgaging immovable property as security.’
    • ‘Country dwellers often had precise knowledge of the quality and value of their neighbours' properties and estates, in relation to both moveables and immoveables.’
    • ‘Residents were understandably concerned with the orderly transmission of property, particularly movables, upon the demise of the holder.’
    • ‘He ordered that his executors should sell all of his moveables after his death, and spend the proceeds on various embellishments for S Ruffillo.’
    • ‘After this date the company faces debt execution actions with regard to its products, assets, accounts, bank guarantees, movables and immovables.’
    • ‘In place of the old system the Assembly established three direct taxes: a land tax (contribution foncière), a tax on movables (contribution mobilière), and a commercial profits tax (patente).’
    possessions, belongings, effects, property, goods, chattels, things, stuff, paraphernalia, impedimenta
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An article of furniture that may be removed from a house, as distinct from a fixture.
      • ‘It is important to note that if the house is fully furnished, Vat at 21 per cent applies to the moveables (ie, tables, chairs and so on).’
      • ‘In contrast, Article 53 enables an occupying force to appropriate state movables to the extent that those materials may be used for military operations.’
      • ‘Apart from movables, they got at most a parental dowry.’
      • ‘An estate mainly consisting of fixed assets and movables will have a problem.’
      • ‘He had stripped the flat of movables and loaded the car well below its Plimsole line.’
      • ‘During the long years of freedom from foreign war after 1214 the tax on movables remained an occasional resource of the Crown.’
      • ‘There is little doubt that it is the lex situs which as a general rule governs the transfer of movables when effected contractually.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, from moveir ‘to move’.