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late 15c., from Middle French mobile (14c.), from Latin mobilis "movable, easy to move; loose, not firm," figuratively, "pliable, flexible, susceptible, nimble, quick; changeable, inconstant, fickle," contraction of *movibilis, from movere "to move" (see move (v.)). Sociology sense from 1927. Mobile home first recorded 1940.
city in Alabama, U.S., attested c.1540 in Spanish as Mauvila, referring to an Indian group and perhaps from Choctaw (Muskogean) moeli "to paddle." Related: Mobilian.
A sculpture made up of suspended shapes that move.
Note: Alexander Calder, a twentieth-century American sculptor, is known for his mobiles.