mo·​tile | \ ˈmō-tᵊl How to pronounce motile (audio) , -ˌtī(-ə)l \

Definition of motile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: exhibiting or capable of movement



Definition of motile (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person whose prevailing mental imagery takes the form of inner feelings of action

Examples of motile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Moreover, having normal semen volumes, sperm motility, sperm concentration, and total motile sperm counts are not guarantees of fertility. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 21 June 2021 Some of the chloroplasts changed into more primitive, more motile proto-plastids that could get as small as 0.2 microns. Quanta Magazine, 20 Jan. 2021 Unencumbered by truth, the face becomes interesting, motile—a work of art. The New Yorker, 1 Dec. 2020 This process involves washing it to remove unwanted substances like non-motile sperm, white blood cells and prostaglandins (hormone-like chemicals that can cause painful cramping when deposited into the uterus). Christina Caron, New York Times, 18 Apr. 2020 In that Human Fertility study, only 37 percent of the sperm-containing precum samples had a fair amount of motile sperm, as in, ones that could make the journey toward an egg. Kasandra Brabaw, SELF, 7 Mar. 2019 For Mr. Alaïa, each stitch, every motile moment, has to have an integral (as opposed to decorative) reason for being. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 8 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But one of my dreams at the time was to do 3-D imaging in real-time on live, motile cells. Jen Christiansen, Scientific American, 21 May 2013 The bank guarantees a vial will have 10 million or 15 million total motile sperm. New York Times, 8 Jan. 2021 While the majority of male animals produce large numbers of small sperm, ostracods, the report authors said, produce small numbers of oversized sperm, with long motile tails. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, 17 Sep. 2020 Then the motile dendritic cells circulate through the body and spread the prion via TNTs to the spleen and lymph nodes (which are immune system organs) and peripheral nerves. Quanta Magazine, 23 Apr. 2018 At their headquarters in Front Royal, Virginia, SCBI scientists performed Rizzo’s artificial insemination with a sample of approximately 300 million motile oryx sperm—10 times more than previously used for such procedures. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, 10 July 2018 Floor-length silk fringe created a motile surface on capes and gowns, ever adrift in the wind. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 6 Mar. 2018 Others saw the motile creatures in the semen and believed them to be the source of the future baby. Abraham Verghese, New York Times, 23 June 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of motile


1857, in the meaning defined above


1886, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for motile


Latin motus, past participle of movēre

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Cite this Entry

“Motile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for motile


mo·​tile | \ ˈmōt-ᵊl How to pronounce motile (audio) , ˈmō-ˌtīl How to pronounce motile (audio) \

Medical Definition of motile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: exhibiting or capable of movement motile cilia



Medical Definition of motile (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person whose prevailing mental imagery is motor rather than visual or auditory and takes the form of inner feelings of action — compare audile entry 1, tactile entry 2, visualizer

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