AskDefine | Define motile

Dictionary Definition

motile adj : (of spores or microorganisms) capable of movement n : one whose prevailing mental imagery takes the form of inner feelings of action

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin motus.




  1. having the power to move spontaneously
    • 1993: It seemed to him that, if there were a Holy Trinity as the churches taught, this must be unified through a manner of capillary action, Father merging into Son and both into Holy Ghost. So God is motile as the blood is. — Anthony Burgess, A Dead Man in Deptford
  2. of, or related to those mental images that arise from the sensations of bodily movement and position

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Motility is a biological term which refers to the ability to move spontaneously and independently. It can apply to either single-celled or multicellular organisms.
In cellular biology or biomedical engineering, motility often refers to directed cell movement down gradients established in biopolymers. Examples are:
  • movement along a chemical gradient (see chemotaxis)
  • movement along a rigidity gradient (see durotaxis)
  • movement along a gradient of cell adhesion sites (see haptotaxis)
motile in German: Motilität
motile in Spanish: Motilidad celular
motile in Malay (macrolanguage): Motiliti
motile in Japanese: 運動性
motile in Simple English: Motile
motile in Chinese: 能動性
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