traveling in a car, especially when considered as a recreation.

Origin of motoring

Related formsnon·mo·tor·ing, adjective




a comparatively small and powerful engine, especially an internal-combustion engine in an automobile, motorboat, or the like.
any self-powered vehicle.
a person or thing that imparts motion, especially a contrivance, as a steam engine, that receives and modifies energy from some natural source in order to utilize it in driving machinery.
Also called electric motor. Electricity. a machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, as an induction motor.
motors, stocks or bonds in automobile companies.


pertaining to or operated by a motor.
of, for, by, or pertaining to motor vehicles: motor freight.
designed or for automobiles, their drivers, or their passengers: The hotel has a motor lobby in its parking garage for picking up and discharging passengers.
causing or producing motion.
Physiology. conveying an impulse that results or tends to result in motion, as a nerve.
Psychology, Physiology. Also motoric. of, relating to, or involving muscular movement: a motor response; motor images.

verb (used without object)

to ride or travel in an automobile; drive: They motored up the coast.

verb (used with object)

Chiefly British. to drive or transport by car: He motored his son to school.

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

Related Words for motoring

float, sit, travel, move, drift, drive, cruise, go, guide, fly, shoot, run, navigate, cross, sweep, leave, skim, reach, steer, soar

Examples from the Web for motoring

Contemporary Examples of motoring

Historical Examples of motoring

  • Charles had a racking headache, consequent on motoring before food.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • A servant informed her that "everybody" was motoring or playing golf.


    Stephen French Whitman

  • "Well—er—you see I've had enough of motoring for a while," explained Andy.

  • He has a laboratory somewhere in the country, and he does quite a lot of motoring.

    The Man Who Knew

    Edgar Wallace

  • He had wired, it seemed, to say that he was motoring down that night.

    The Patrician

    John Galsworthy

British Dictionary definitions for motoring



  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 motoring



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.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

motoring in Medicine




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.

motoring in Science




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.