get a move on, Informal.
    1. to begin; act: We'd better get a move on before it rains.
    2. to hurry; hasten.
    make one's move, Informal. to act, especially to assert oneself at an opportune time.
    on the move,
    1. busy; active: on the move from morning till night.
    2. going from place to place: Infantry units have been on the move all day.
    3. advancing; progressing: an industry on the move.
    put moves on, Slang. to make sexual advances toward.Also make a move on.

Origin of move

1200–50; Middle English meven, moven < Anglo-French moverLatin movēre
Related formscoun·ter·move, nouncoun·ter·move, verb, coun·ter·moved, coun·ter·mov·ing.out·move, verb (used with object), out·moved, out·mov·ing.un·moved, adjective

Synonyms for move

Synonym study

1. See advance. 22. See motion.

Antonyms for move

12. fix. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for get a move on

zip, scamper, scurry, dart, dash, whiz, bolt, hustle, fly, advance, rush, promote, run, help, facilitate, ride, zoom, further, hurry, hasten

British Dictionary definitions for get a move on



to go or take from one place to another; change in location or position
(usually intr) to change (one's dwelling, place of business, etc)
to be or cause to be in motion; stir
(intr) (of machines, etc) to work or operate
(tr) to cause (to do something); prompt
(intr) to begin to actmove soon or we'll lose the order
(intr) to associate oneself with a specified social circleto move in exalted spheres
(intr) to make progress
(tr) to arouse affection, pity, or compassion in; touch
(in board games) to change the position of (a piece) or (of a piece) to change position
(intr) (of merchandise) to be disposed of by being bought
(when tr, often takes a clause as object; when intr, often foll by for) to suggest (a proposal) formally, as in debating or parliamentary procedure
(intr; usually foll by on or along) to go away or to another place; leave
to cause (the bowels) to evacuate or (of the bowels) to be evacuated
(intr) informal to be exciting or activethe party started moving at twelve
move heaven and earth to take every step possible (to achieve something)


the act of moving; movement
one of a sequence of actions, usually part of a plan; manoeuvre
the act of moving one's residence, place of business, etc
(in board games)
  1. a player's turn to move his piece or take other permitted action
  2. a permitted manoeuvre of a piece
get a move on informal
  1. to get started
  2. to hurry up
make a move (usually used with a negative) informal to take even the slightest actiondon't make a move without phoning me
make one's move to commit oneself to a position or course of action
on the move
  1. travelling from place to place
  2. advancing; succeeding
  3. very active; busy

Word Origin for move

C13: from Anglo-French mover, from Latin movēre
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 get a move on



late 13c., from Anglo-French mover, Old French movoir "to move, get moving, set out; set in motion; introduce" (Modern French mouvoir), from Latin movere "move, set in motion; remove; disturb" (past participle motus, frequentative motare), from PIE root *meue- "to push away" (cf. Sanskrit kama-muta "moved by love" and probably mivati "pushes, moves;" Lithuanian mauti "push on;" Greek ameusasthai "to surpass," amyno "push away").

Intransitive sense developed in Old French and came thence to English, though it now is rare in French. Meaning "to affect with emotion" is from c.1300; that of "to prompt or impel toward some action" is from late 14c. Sense of "to change one's place of residence" is from 1707. Meaning "to propose (something) in an assembly, etc.," is first attested mid-15c. Related: Moved; moving.



mid-15c., "proposal," from move (v.). From 1650s in the gaming sense. Meaning "act of moving" is from 1827. Phrase on the move "in the process of going from one place to another" is from 1796; get a move on "hurry up" is Americal English colloquial from 1888 (also, and perhaps originally, get a move on you).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with get a move on

get a move on

Also, get cracking or going or rolling. Hurry up; also, start working. For example, Get a move on, it's late, or Let's get cracking, kids, or It's time we got going, or The alarm went off ten minutes ago, so get rolling. The first colloquial expression dates from the late 1800s. The second term, also colloquial, employs the verb to crack in the sense of “travel with speed,” a usage dating from the early 1800s, but the idiom dates only from the first half of the 1900s. The third term dates from the late 1800s and also has other meanings; see get going. Get rolling alludes to setting wheels in motion and dates from the first half of the 1900s. Also see get busy; get on the stick.


In addition to the idioms beginning with move

  • move a muscle
  • move heaven and earth
  • move in
  • move on
  • move up

also see:

  • get a move on
  • on the move

Also see undermover.

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