ki·​net·​ic | \ kə-ˈne-tik also kī- How to pronounce kinetic (audio) \

Definition of kinetic

1 : of or relating to the motion of material bodies and the forces and energy associated therewith
2a : active, lively
b : dynamic, energizing a kinetic performer
3 : of or relating to kinetic art

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Other Words from kinetic

kinetically \ kə-​ˈne-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce kinetically (audio) also  kī-​ \ adverb

Did You Know?

Kinetic comes from the Greek word kinētikos, meaning "of motion, which in turn traces to the verb kinein, meaning "to move." Compared to some other English words that have their roots in Greek, "kinetic" is a relatively young English word; the earliest evidence we have of its use is from 1864. Although it deals with the motion of images rather than material bodies, the word cinema can also be traced back to "kinein." The verb "kinein" is the source of the Greek kinēma, meaning "movement, to which the French referred in the coining of their "cinématographe." "Cinématographe" is the word that gave rise to the English word cinematograph, of which "cinema" is simply a shortened form.

Examples of kinetic in a Sentence

the novel's plot is kinetic and fast-paced, and its effect on the reader is much like that of a surfeit of caffeine the loft district is the locus of the city's kinetic arts scene

Recent Examples on the Web

Gone is the rollicking cinema of over-the-top comedies and kinetic action thrillers that produced Jackie Chan, John Woo and Michelle Yeoh. G. Allen Johnson,, "SFFilm’s Hong Kong Cinema Now kicks off three-day event," 10 July 2019 Made of metal with an enamel finish, the beetle is about 9 inches tall and has a 9-inch chain and kinetic spinning legs. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Colorful, whimsical or classic, yard art can enhance your garden’s overall appeal," 3 July 2019 The fourth first-half goal went to Rodriguez after Quintero provided a kinetic pass into space. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Minnesota United offense comes alive in 7-1 thrashing of Cincinnati," 29 June 2019 There's sandpaper, carpeting, bouncy toys, kinetic sand and other kinds of similar stuff. Sergio Carmona,, "Synagogue preschool’s sensory room provides pathway to learning," 28 June 2019 Boyle has long excelled at injecting music-video surrealism into his feature films, from the kinetic Trainspotting to the symphonic Steve Jobs. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Yesterday Imagines a World Where the Beatles Never Existed," 26 June 2019 Photo: Paul Warchol Manifold House Arlington, Va. 5,060 square feet Five bedrooms, 5½ bathrooms Mr. Jameson calls this a ‘kinetic sculpture.’ The design was inspired by the owner’s collection of vintage Vespa scooters and fishing tackle boxes. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "A Perfectionist Architect’s Experimental Home," 27 Dec. 2018 At The Commons in Columbus, Swiss artist John Tinguely built the 7-ton kinetic sculpture in the 1970s on a commission from the Miller family. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Mass Ave's electronic 'Ann Dancing' needs $262,800. Here's what's behind that number.," 4 June 2019 However, Universal had high hopes for their kinetic time travel comedy from director Robert Zemeckis and their ambitions paid off big time with an $11.1-million opening on a $19-million budget. Dave Lewis,, "From 'Back to the Future' to 'Wild Wild West': A look at the Fourth of July's biggest box office hits and misses," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kinetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of kinetic

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kinetic

Greek kinētikos, from kinētos, from kinein — see -kinesis

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Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for kinetic

The first known use of kinetic was in 1864

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More Definitions for kinetic



English Language Learners Definition of kinetic

: of or relating to the movement of physical objects


ki·​net·​ic | \ kə-ˈne-tik How to pronounce kinetic (audio) , kī-\

Kids Definition of kinetic

: relating to the motions of objects and the forces associated with them kinetic energy


ki·​net·​ic | \ kə-ˈnet-ik How to pronounce kinetic (audio) , kī- How to pronounce kinetic (audio) \

Medical Definition of kinetic

: of or relating to the motion of material bodies and the forces and energy associated therewith

Other Words from kinetic

kinetically adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on kinetic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kinetic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kinetic

Nglish: Translation of kinetic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kinetic for Arabic Speakers

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