[ moh-ter-ist ]
/ ˈmoʊ tər ɪst /


a person who drives or travels in a privately owned automobile.


Nearby words

  1. motored,
  2. motorhome,
  3. motoric,
  4. motoring,
  5. motorised,
  6. motorize,
  7. motorized,
  8. motorman,
  9. motormouth,
  10. motorship

Origin of motorist

First recorded in 1895–1900; motor + -ist

Related formsnon·mo·tor·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for motorist

British Dictionary definitions for motorist


/ (ˈməʊtərɪst) /


a driver of a car, esp when considered as a car-owner
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]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper