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See more synonyms for motorist on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who drives or travels in a privately owned automobile.
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Origin of motorist

First recorded in 1895–1900; motor + -ist
Related formsnon·mo·tor·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for motorist

Historical Examples

  • Within her, at that moment, was a desire like the motorist's for speed.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • I recommend them to every motorist who may have to look for a place to land.

    'Charge It'

    Irving Bacheller

  • He held up both his arms, the signal of a motorist in distress.

  • "Hoity, toity," said the motorist, without any sign of shame.

    The Burglars' Club

    Henry A. Hering

  • I need a motorist for the Hawk, and I think you'd about fill the bill.

    Motor Matt's Air Ship

    Stanley R. Matthews

British Dictionary definitions for motorist


  1. a driver of a car, esp when considered as a car-owner
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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 motorist


"motor-car driver," 1896, from motor- + -ist. Earlier as a name for electric railway drivers (1889). Other early alternatives included motorneer.

"Motorer" we have given our reasons for rejecting, and there only remains "motorist" or a compound like "motor-man" or "motor-driver." Mr. C.P.G. Scott, the etymologist of the Century Dictionary, strongly favors "motor-man" or "motor-driver," though he would not object to "motorist" and prefers it above any other single word. ["Electric Power," October 1889]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper