Definition of motile in English:



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

    ‘males produce small motile gametes’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Finally, greater moisture availability would enhance transfer of motile gametes, thereby leading to more successful sporophyte development.’
    • ‘Most are motile animals, but members of the order Stauromedusae are sessile.’
    • ‘From these data the proportion of motile cells was determined.’
    • ‘These nucleated, motile cells could be used to study membrane dynamics.’
    in motion, operating, operational, working, going, on the move, active
  • 2Psychology
    Relating to or characterized by responses that involve muscular rather than audiovisual sensations.



/mōdl/ /moʊdl/ /ˈmōˌtīl/ /ˈmoʊˌtaɪl/


Mid 19th century from Latin motus ‘motion’, on the pattern of mobile.