In biology, motility is the ability of organisms and fluid to move or get around. A microbiologist might test and compare the motility of various single-celled organisms.

An easy way to remember that motility means the ability to move without help is the mot- at the root of the word. It's the same root that's found in "motor," which is, of course, the engine that drives a car. If you've got good motility then your motor is working. After a car accident, an athlete's friends are understandably concerned about her motility. Motility is something you tend to take for granted — until you sprain an ankle.

Definitions of motility
  1. noun
    ability to move spontaneously and independently
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    lacking an ability to move
    type of:
    the quality of moving freely
  2. noun
    a change of position that does not entail a change of location
    “gastrointestinal motility
    synonyms: motion, move, movement
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    (physiology) moving of a body part away from the central axis of the body
    (physiology) moving of a body part toward the central axis of the body
    the act of agitating something; causing it to move around (usually vigorously)
    body English
    a motion of the body by a player as if to make an object already propelled go in the desired direction
    a circular movement of a limb or eye
    the act of disturbing something or someone; setting something in motion
    fetal movement, foetal movement
    motion of a fetus within the uterus (usually detected by the 16th week of pregnancy)
    dart, flit
    a sudden quick movement
    motion of hands or body to emphasize or help to express a thought or feeling
    headshake, headshaking
    the act of turning your head left and right to signify denial or disbelief or bemusement
    inclination, inclining
    the act of inclining; bending forward
    eversion, everting, inversion
    the act of turning inside out
    inversion, upending
    turning upside down; setting on end
    jerk, jerking, jolt, saccade
    an abrupt spasmodic movement
    kick, kicking
    a rhythmic thrusting movement of the legs as in swimming or calisthenics
    kneel, kneeling
    supporting yourself on your knees
    lurch, pitch, pitching
    abrupt up-and-down motion (as caused by a ship or other conveyance)
    eye movement
    the movement of the eyes
    the act of opening something
    the act of assuming a prostrate position
    reach, reaching, stretch
    the act of physically reaching or thrusting out
    alternating back-and-forth movement
    the act of assuming or maintaining a reclining position
    the act of pulling or holding or drawing a part back
    retroflection, retroflexion
    the act of bending backward
    rotary motion, rotation
    the act of rotating as if on an axis
    closing, shutting
    the act of closing something
    the act of assuming or maintaining a seated position
    posing, sitting
    (photography) the act of assuming a certain position (as for a photograph or portrait)
    the act of snapping the fingers; movement of a finger from the tip to the base of the thumb on the same hand
    squat, squatting
    the act of assuming or maintaining a crouching position with the knees bent and the buttocks near the heels
    a movement in an arc
    an abrupt movement
    quiver, quivering, vibration
    the act of vibrating
    a movement like that of a sudden occurrence or increase in a specified phenomenon
    flicker, flutter, waver
    the act of moving back and forth
    the act of assuming or maintaining an erect upright position
    span, straddle
    the act of sitting or standing astride
    a single complete movement
    squirm, wiggle, wriggle
    the act of wiggling
    eurhythmics, eurhythmy, eurythmics, eurythmy
    the interpretation in harmonious bodily movements of the rhythm of musical compositions; used to teach musical understanding
    (baseball) the series of motions made by a pitcher prior to releasing a pitch
    jab, jabbing, poke, poking, thrust, thrusting
    a sharp hand gesture (resembling a blow)
    ritual hand movement in Hindu religious dancing
    a short abrupt inclination (as of the head)
    the act of nodding the head
    an inclination of the top half of the body forward and downward
    involuntary movements of the eyeballs; its presence or absence is used to diagnose a variety of neurological and visual disorders
    a rapid, jerky movement of the eyes between positions of rest
    the act of turning or winding or folding around a central axis
    feather, feathering
    turning an oar parallel to the water between pulls
    gyration, whirling
    the act of rotating in a circle or spiral
    the act of turning on (or as if on) a pivot
    rotation of the hands and forearms so that the palms face downward
    spin, twirl, twist, twisting, whirl
    the act of rotating rapidly
    flying downward in a helical path with a large radius
    rotation of the hands and forearms so that the palms face upward
    turn, twist
    turning or twisting around (in place)
    twist, wind, winding
    the act of winding or twisting
    the act of causing something to move up and down (or back and forth) with quick movements
    agitating a liquid with an implement
    shake, wag, waggle
    causing to move repeatedly from side to side
    the act of moving something by repeated tugs or pushes
    careen, rock, sway, tilt
    pitching dangerously to one side
    overturn, turnover, upset
    the act of upsetting something
    shudder, tremor
    an involuntary vibration (as if from illness or fear)
    the act of reaching out
    key stroke, keystroke
    the stroke of a key; one depression of a key on a keyboard
    (ballet) the outward rotation of a dancer's leg from the hip
    a stroke or blow
    a stroke with a curved piece of wood with taut horsehair strands that is used in playing stringed instruments
    carnival, circus
    a frenetic disorganized (and often comic) disturbance suggestive of a large public entertainment
    disorganisation, disorganization
    the disturbance of a systematic arrangement causing disorder and confusion
    disruption, perturbation
    the act of causing disorder
    commotion, din, ruckus, ruction, rumpus, tumult
    the act of making a noisy disturbance
    furor, furore
    a sudden outburst (as of protest)
    havoc, mayhem
    violent and needless disturbance
    battle royal, melee, scrimmage
    a noisy riotous fight
    agitation, excitement, hullabaloo, turmoil, upheaval
    disturbance usually in protest
    outburst, tumultuous disturbance
    a sudden violent disturbance
    rampage, violent disorder
    violently angry and destructive behavior
    derangement, overthrow, upset
    the act of disturbing the mind or body
    swimming kick
    a movement of the legs in swimming
    blow, buffet
    a powerful stroke with the fist or a weapon
    type of:
    the action of changing something
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