Definition of kinesis in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kəˈnēsis/

noun (plural kineses /-ˌsēz/)

1Movement; motion.
Example sentences
  • In the end, I found it kind of unsatisfying: less overhead control than simple fiction, less interactivity than roleplaying, less kinesis than film… paid well, but it never really clicked for me and I drifted away from the contract pool.
  • For its vistas and its kinesis, the western has been described as the genre most given to cinema, the cinema having emerged as the West was won and organically, so it seemed, out of the embers of actual frontier history.
  • The centripetal tendency of closure merges with the centrifugal radiation of the art symbol to unify singularity with multiplicity, stasis with kinesis, and imagination with reality.
1.1 Biology An undirected movement of a cell, organism, or part in response to an external stimulus. Compare with taxis.
Example sentences
  • Where an aspect of the environment is highly predictable (such as the sun rising every day), very accurate anticipation can be achieved by endogenous rhythms or by simple kineses and taxes.
  • Temperature preference undoubtedly is an important directing force in kineses or taxes of aquatic animals.
  • Current efforts are aimed at understanding the regulation of these kineses and at identifying their substrates.
1.2 Zoology Mobility of the bones of the skull, as in some birds and reptiles.
Example sentences
  • A high level of skull kinesis seems to be the rule among most other diapsids.
  • Details of cranial anatomy contradict a previous model of cranial kinesis by severely limiting the skull's potential mobility.
  • The action of the jaws linkage during cranial kinesis is to transmit ventral jaw rotation into maxillary rotation for the purpose of protruding the premaxilla forward toward the prey.


Early 17th century: from Greek kinēsis 'movement', from kinein 'to move'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ki·ne·sis

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.