1rare Voluntary movement (of a muscle or the body).
The self-generated or spontaneous motion of the soul.
3An optical illusion in which a small stationary object in a uniform background, especially a light source in an otherwise dark field, appears to move.
The phenomenon was first noted by A. von Humboldt in 1799, when observing stars through a telescope.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Robley Dunglison (1798–1869), physician and medical writer. Partly from Hellenistic Greek αὐτοκίνησις self-motion, and partly from auto- + -kinesis.