Origin of motor

1580–90; < Latin mōtor mover, equivalent to mō- (variant stem of movēre to move) + -tor -tor
Related formsmul·ti·mo·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for motor

Contemporary Examples of motor

Historical Examples of motor

  • A few years only back, every Carolinian rode to town, and the motor was unknown.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • Much of the efficiency of the motor is due to the form and gearing of the propeller.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • For example, there is neither an intake or exhaust manifold on the motor.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • If the machine is to be kept afloat the motor must be kept moving.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • On Model B a Holmes rotary 7-cylinder motor of 4x4-inch bore and stroke is used.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell


British Dictionary definitions for motor

motor

noun

  1. the engine, esp an internal-combustion engine, of a vehicle
  2. (as modifier)a motor scooter
Also called: electric motor a machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy by means of the forces exerted on a current-carrying coil placed in a magnetic field
any device that converts another form of energy into mechanical energy to produce motion
an indispensable part or player that moves a process or system along
  1. mainly Britisha car or other motor vehicle
  2. as modifiermotor spares

adjective

producing or causing motion
physiol
  1. of or relating to nerves or neurons that carry impulses that cause muscles to contract
  2. of or relating to movement or to muscles that induce movement

verb

(intr) to travel by car
(tr) British to transport by car
(intr) informal to move fast; make good progress
(tr) to motivate

Word Origin for motor

C16: from Latin mōtor a mover, from movēre to move
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 motor
n.

mid-15c., "controller, prime mover," from Latin motor, literally "mover," agent noun from past participle stem of movere "to move" (see move (v.)). From 15c. as "controller, prime mover" (in reference to God); sense of "agent or force that produces mechanical motion" is first recorded 1660s; that of "machine that supplies motive power" is from 1856. First record of slang motor-mouth "fast-talking person" is from 1970.

v.

1896, from motor (n.). Related: Motored; motoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

motor in Medicine

motor

[mōtər]

adj.

Causing or producing motion.
Of or being nerves that carry impulses from the nerve centers to the muscles.
Involving or relating to movements of the muscles.
Of or relating to an organism's overt reaction to a stimulus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

motor in Science

motor

[mōtər]

Noun

A machine that uses energy, such as electric or chemical energy (as from burning a fuel), to produce mechanical motion. See also engine.

Adjective

Involving the muscles or the nerves that are connected to them. Compare sensory.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.