movable

movable
movable, mobile, motive mean capable of moving or of being moved.
Movable applies not to what has independent power of motion but to what can be moved by men or machines (as by lifting, drawing, pushing, or driving)
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a movable steam engine

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one's movable possessions

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some of these cabins were movable, and were carried on sledges from one part of the common to another— Macaulay

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or to what is not fixed in position or date
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printing from movable type

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a movable attachment for a machine

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movable feasts such as Easter and Whitsunday

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Mobile stresses facility or ease in moving or, less often, in being moved. It often describes the quality of flowing which distinguishes a fluid from a solid
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the mobile liquid passes into a compact rigid solid— T. H. Huxley

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or which characterizes an electric current or charge
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long-lasting circulation of the mobile charge, around and around the circuit— Darrow

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or the character which distinguishes something or someone that moves or is equipped or able to move quickly and readily, or to go (as from place to place or from one condition to another), from what is slow-moving or unlikely to engage in major moves
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a mobile army

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a mobile radio unit

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they attract the more ambitious, the more mobile young people— Amer. Jour, of Sociology

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American society, though highly mobile by European standards, is not classless— Times Lit. Sup.

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But equally often mobile describes features, faces, expressions of face, or thoughts which respond quickly and obviously to changing emotions, mental states, or external stimuli, often at the same time connoting either fickleness or instability or flexibility and versatility
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the gray restless eye, the thin mobile lips— J. R. Green

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you are as mobile as the veering air, and all your charms more changeful than the tide— Millay

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delicately sniffing the air to the left of him with his mobile nose end— Dahl

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Motive implies a moving only in the transitive sense of driving, or causing movement, or impelling to action; the term is used chiefly with reference to power or energy or their sources (as fuel, steam, or electricity) viewed as agent in a process of moving
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diesel engines supply the motive power for the new ship

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when horsepower and man power were alone employed, the motive agent was not bound up with the tool moved— Spencer

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Even when the reference is to something which constitutes a motive for action, "motive power," "motive force," or "motive energy" is likely to be used
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there was no motive power in experience. It was as little of an active cause as conscience itself— Wilde

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this new wave of motive energy began to penetrate the deep absorption in their own affairs of her husband and children— Dorothy Canfield

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his motive force is a blissful and naive faith— Rosten

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Analogous words: *changeable, changeful, variable, mutable
Antonyms: immovable: stationary
Contrasted words: fixed, set, settled, established (see SET vb)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • movable — mov·able 1 or move·able / mü və bəl/ adj: capable of being moved movable 2 or moveable n: an item of movable property; also: a right or interest (as a chattel mortgage) in an item of movable property bonds and annuities are incorporeal movable s… …   Law dictionary

  • movable — mov‧a‧ble [ˈmʊːvəbl] also moveable adjective if something is movable, it is not fixed and can move, be moved, or change: • Governments may use movable exchange rates to keep their economies competitive. • movable property * * * movable UK US… …   Financial and business terms

  • Movable — Mov a*ble, a. [Cf. OF. movable. See {Move}.] 1. Capable of being moved, lifted, carried, drawn, turned, or conveyed, or in any way made to change place or posture; susceptible of motion; not fixed or stationary; as, a movable steam engine. [Also… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • movable — movable, mobile Movable generally denotes that something can be moved by applying an external force to it, whereas mobile means that it has the ability to move or be moved as a special characteristic. A mobile phone is designed to be carried… …   Modern English usage

  • movable — [mo͞o′və bəl] adj. 1. a) that can be moved from one place to another; not fixed b) Law designating or of personal property as distinguished from real property 2. changing in date from one year to the next [Thanksgiving is a movable holiday] n. 1 …   English World dictionary

  • movable — (adj.) also moveable, late 14c., disposed to movement; c.1400, capable of being moved, from O.Fr. movable, from moveir (see MOVE (Cf. move) (v.)). A moveable feast (early 15c.) is one in the Church calendar which, though always on the same day of …   Etymology dictionary

  • Movable — Mov a*ble, n.; pl. {Movables}. 1. An article of wares or goods; a commodity; a piece of property not fixed, or not a part of real estate; generally, in the plural, goods; wares; furniture. [Also spelled {moveable}.] [1913 Webster] Furnished with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • movable — [adj] transportable adaptable, adjustable, ambulatory, conveyable, deployable, detachable, in parts, liftable, loose, mobile, motile, moving, not fastened, not fixed, on wheels, portable, portative, removable, separable, shiftable, transferable,… …   New thesaurus

  • movable — (also moveable) ► ADJECTIVE 1) capable of being moved. 2) denoting a religious feast day occurring on a different date each year. 3) Law (of property) of the nature of a chattel, as distinct from land or buildings …   English terms dictionary

  • movable — That which can be changed in place, as movable property; or in time, as movable feasts or terms of court Compare fixture See also movable estate movable freehold movables @ movable estate A term equivalent to personal estate or personal property …   Black's law dictionary

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