Nearby words

  1. moto-,
  2. motocross,
  3. motofacient,
  4. moton,
  5. motoneuron,
  6. motor area,
  7. motor ataxia,
  8. motor camp,
  9. motor caravan,
  10. motor cortex

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

Examples from the Web for motor

British Dictionary definitions for motor



  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


producing or causing motion
  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


(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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for motor




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.

Science definitions for motor




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


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.