Definition of motile in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈməʊtʌɪl/


1 Zoology & Botany (Of cells, gametes, and single-celled organisms) capable of motion: males produce small motile gametes
More example sentences
  • 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.
2 Psychology Relating to or characterized by responses that involve muscular rather than audiovisual sensations.



Pronunciation: /məʊˈtɪlɪti/
Example sentences
  • Sperm motility and progression were determined as described above.
  • They affect the brain and nervous system, and have an effect on the motility, or movement, of the gut.
  • Thus, it is safe to describe IBS as a problem of disordered bowel motility.


Mid 19th century: from Latin motus 'motion', on the pattern of mobile.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mo¦tile

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.