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prime mover

  1. the initial agent, as wind or electricity, that puts a machine in motion.
  2. a machine, as a water wheel or steam engine, that receives and modifies energy as supplied by some natural source.
means of towing a cannon, as an animal, truck, or tractor.
Also called unmoved mover. Aristotelianism. that which is the first cause of all movement and does not itself move.
a person or thing that initiates or gives power and cohesion to something, as an idea, endeavor, or organization.
Origin of prime mover
First recorded in 1935-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prime mover
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Well, here was the arch-revolutionist, the prime mover of them all.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • Something prompted him that Jake was to be the central figure, the prime mover.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • Now, I have any amount of that, and I was really the prime mover in most of Mascarin's schemes.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
  • Simcoe was almost certainly the prime mover in the legislation of 1793.

  • If those shutters ever open I think you'll have to be the prime mover.

    The Opened Shutters

    Clara Louise Burnham
  • Gisby has been the prime mover in it—the chief snake in the grass.

British Dictionary definitions for prime mover

prime mover

the original or primary force behind an idea, enterprise, etc
  1. the source of power, such as fuel, wind, electricity, etc, for a machine
  2. the means of extracting power from such a source, such as a steam engine, electric motor, etc
(in the philosophy of Aristotle) that which is the cause of all movement

Prime Mover

(philosophy) the Prime Mover, God, esp when considered as a first cause
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
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Idioms and Phrases with prime mover

prime mover

The initial source of energy directed toward a goal, someone or something that sets others in motion. For example, Jean was the prime mover in getting us more laboratory space, or Patriotism was the prime mover of the revolution. [ Late 1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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