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motion

[moh-shuh n]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the action or process of moving or of changing place or position; movement.
  2. power of movement, as of a living body.
  3. the manner of moving the body in walking; gait.
  4. a bodily movement or change of posture; gesture.
  5. a proposal formally made to a deliberative assembly: to make a motion to adjourn.
  6. Law. an application made to a court or judge for an order, ruling, or the like.
  7. a suggestion or proposal.
  8. an inward prompting or impulse; inclination: He will go only of his own motion.
  9. Music. melodic progression, as the change of a voice part from one pitch to another.
  10. Machinery.
    1. a piece of mechanism with a particular action or function.
    2. the action of such a mechanism.
verb (used with object)
  1. to direct by a significant motion or gesture, as with the hand: to motion a person to a seat.
verb (used without object)
  1. to make a meaningful motion, as with the hand; gesture; signal: to motion to someone to come.
Idioms
  1. go through the motions, to do something halfheartedly, routinely, or as a formality or façade.
  2. in motion, in active operation; moving: The train was already in motion when he tried to board it.

Origin of motion

1350–1400; Middle English mocio(u)n < Latin mōtiōn- (stem of mōtiō), equivalent to mōt(us) (past participle of movēre to move) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsmo·tion·al, adjectivemo·tion·er, nounin·ter·mo·tion, nounnon·mo·tion, nounself-mo·tion, nounun·der·mo·tion, nounun·mo·tioned, adjectiveun·mo·tion·ing, adjective

Synonym study

1. Motion, move, movement refer to change of position in space. Motion denotes change of position, either considered apart from, or as a characteristic of, something that moves; usually the former, in which case it is often a somewhat technical or scientific term: perpetual motion. The chief uses of move are founded upon the idea of moving a piece, in chess or a similar game, for winning the game, and hence the word denotes any change of position, condition, or circumstances for the accomplishment of some end: a shrewd move to win votes. Movement is always connected with the person or thing moving, and is usually a definite or particular motion: the movements of a dance. 3. bearing, carriage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for motion

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was incumbent upon Mr. Gladstone to lead the opposition to this motion.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • July 4, 1864, Mr. Disraeli brought forward his motion of "no confidence."

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Mr. Disraeli's motion was lost, and the ministry was sustained.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • He could not see how Mr. Roebuck's motion could be resisted.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Every motion in his great soul was reflected in his face and form.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook


British Dictionary definitions for motion

motion

noun
  1. the process of continual change in the physical position of an object; movementlinear motion Related adjective: kinetic
  2. a movement or action, esp of part of the human body; a gesture
    1. the capacity for movement
    2. a manner of movement, esp walking; gait
  3. a mental impulse
  4. a formal proposal to be discussed and voted on in a debate, meeting, etc
  5. law an application made to a judge or court for an order or ruling necessary to the conduct of legal proceedings
  6. British
    1. the evacuation of the bowels
    2. excrement
    1. part of a moving mechanism
    2. the action of such a part
  7. music the upward or downward course followed by a part or melody. Parts whose progressions are in the same direction exhibit similar motion, while two parts whose progressions are in opposite directions exhibit contrary motionSee also parallel (def. 3)
  8. go through the motions
    1. to act or perform the task (of doing something) mechanically or without sincerity
    2. to mimic the action (of something) by gesture
  9. in motion operational or functioning (often in the phrases set in motion, set the wheels in motion)
verb
  1. (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to signal or direct (a person) by a movement or gesture
Derived Formsmotional, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Latin mōtiō a moving, from movēre to move

Motion

noun
  1. Sir Andrew. born 1952, British poet and biographer; his collections include Pleasure Steamers (1978) and Public Property (2002): poet laureate (1999–2009)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for motion

n.

late 14c., "suggestion; process of moving," from Old French mocion "movement, motion; change, alteration" (13c.), from Latin motionem (nominative motio) "a moving, a motion; an emotion," from past participle stem of movere "to move" (see move (v.)). Motion picture attested from 1896.

v.

late 15c., "to request, petition" (obsolete), from motion (n.). The sense in parliamentary procedure first recorded 1747; with meaning "to guide or direct by a sign, gesture, movement" it is attested from 1787. Related: Motioned; motioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

motion in Medicine

motion

(mōshən)
n.
  1. The act or process of changing position or place.
  2. The manner in which the body or a body part moves.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with motion

motion

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.