Definition of perpetuum mobile in English:

perpetuum mobile

Syllabification: per·pet·u·um mo·bi·le
Pronunciation: /pərˌpeCHəwəm ˈmōbəlē


1 Music A piece of fast-moving instrumental music consisting mainly of notes of equal length.
More example sentences
  • Other 20th-century composers, for instance Honegger, Martin, and Prokofiev, wrote toccatas in perpetuum mobile style, following the example of Schumann.
  • Op. 54 is in two movements, minuet and a kind of perpetuum mobile, often referred to as a toccata: its form and style can't be found elsewhere in Beethoven.
2 another term for perpetual motion.
More example sentences
  • His preoccupations caricature Fedor's preoccupation with infinity by reducing what is for Fedor a kind of otherworldly transcendence to the pragmatism of a perpetuum mobile.
  • Tito's perpetuum mobile kept rotating during the stagnant 1970s.
  • We are amused by purported perpetuum mobile devices.


Latin, literally 'continuously moving (thing)', on the pattern of primum mobile.

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