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.
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" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away"). Sociology sense from 1927. Mobile home first recorded 1940.
early 15c. in astronomy, "outer sphere of the universe," from mobile (adj.); the artistic sense is first recorded 1949 as a shortening of mobile sculpture (1936). Now-obsolete sense of "the common people, the rabble" (1670s) led to mob (n.).
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