noun Informal.

an act or instance of occupying a living or working place: The offices will be ready for move-in soon.

Nearby words

  1. move heaven and earth,
  2. move in,
  3. move on,
  4. move out,
  5. move up,
  6. move-out,
  7. moveable,
  8. moveless,
  9. movelessly,
  10. movement

Origin of move-in

noun use of verb phrase move in



verb (used without object), moved, mov·ing.

to pass from one place or position to another.
to go from one place of residence to another: They moved from Tennessee to Texas.
to advance or progress: The red racing car moved into the lead.
to have a regular motion, as an implement or a machine; turn; revolve.
to sell or be sold: That new model is moving well.
to start off or leave: It's time to be moving.
to transfer a piece in a game, as chess or checkers.
(of the bowels) to discharge or eject the feces; evacuate.
to be active in a particular sphere: to move in musical society.
to take action; proceed.
to make a formal request, application, or proposal: to move for a new trial.

verb (used with object), moved, mov·ing.

to change from one place or position to another.
to set or keep in motion.
to prompt, actuate, or impel to some action: What moved you to do this?
to arouse or excite the feelings or passions of; affect with emotion (usually followed by to): to move someone to anger.
to affect with tender or compassionate emotion; touch: The tale of tragedy moved her.
to transfer (a piece in a game) from one position to another.
to dispose of (goods) by sale.
to cause (the bowels) to discharge or eject the feces.
to propose formally, as to a court or judge, or for consideration by a deliberative assembly.
to submit a formal request or proposal to (a court, a sovereign, etc.).


an act or instance of moving; movement.
a change of location or residence.
an action toward an objective or goal; step: a move toward a higher tax.
(in chess, checkers, etc.) a player's right or turn to make a play.
a play or maneuver, as in a game or sport.

Verb Phrases

move in, to begin to occupy a place in which to live or work.
move in on, Informal.
  1. to approach or make advances toward usurping another's success, authority, position, or the like.
  2. to take aggressive steps to control or possess: The company has not yet moved in on the consumer market.
move on,
  1. to leave or go away: I’ve been in this job ten years and it’s time to move on.
  2. to approach or attack as a military target: The army is moving on the capital itself.
  3. to progress or change: Those hats were popular once, but fashion has moved on.
  4. to move past an upsetting experience and go on with one’s life.
move out, to leave a place in order to start or continue a planned march, maneuver, journey, etc.: The troops will move out of the encampment at dawn.
move over, to change or cause to change to another position, especially to make room for another: to make space by moving over.
move up, to advance to a higher level.

Origin of move

1200–50; Middle English meven, moven < Anglo-French moverLatin movēre

Related formscoun·ter·move, nouncoun·ter·move, verb, coun·ter·moved, coun·ter·mov·ing.out·move, verb (used with object), out·moved, out·mov·ing.un·moved, adjective

Synonym study

1. See advance. 22. See motion. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for move in

move in

verb (mainly adverb)

Also: (when preposition) move into (also preposition) to occupy or take possession of (a new residence, place of business, etc) or help (someone) to do this
(intr often foll by on) informal to creep close (to), as in preparing to capture
(intr often foll by on) informal to try to gain power or influence (over) or interfere (with)



to go or take from one place to another; change in location or position
(usually intr) to change (one's dwelling, place of business, etc)
to be or cause to be in motion; stir
(intr) (of machines, etc) to work or operate
(tr) to cause (to do something); prompt
(intr) to begin to actmove soon or we'll lose the order
(intr) to associate oneself with a specified social circleto move in exalted spheres
(intr) to make progress
(tr) to arouse affection, pity, or compassion in; touch
(in board games) to change the position of (a piece) or (of a piece) to change position
(intr) (of merchandise) to be disposed of by being bought
(when tr, often takes a clause as object; when intr, often foll by for) to suggest (a proposal) formally, as in debating or parliamentary procedure
(intr; usually foll by on or along) to go away or to another place; leave
to cause (the bowels) to evacuate or (of the bowels) to be evacuated
(intr) informal to be exciting or activethe party started moving at twelve
move heaven and earth to take every step possible (to achieve something)


the act of moving; movement
one of a sequence of actions, usually part of a plan; manoeuvre
the act of moving one's residence, place of business, etc
(in board games)
  1. a player's turn to move his piece or take other permitted action
  2. a permitted manoeuvre of a piece
get a move on informal
  1. to get started
  2. to hurry up
make a move (usually used with a negative) informal to take even the slightest actiondon't make a move without phoning me
make one's move to commit oneself to a position or course of action
on the move
  1. travelling from place to place
  2. advancing; succeeding
  3. very active; busy

Word Origin for move

C13: from Anglo-French mover, from Latin movēre

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 move in
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with move in

move in


Begin to occupy a residence or working place, as in We are scheduled to move in next month, or Helen is moving in with her sister. [Late 1800s]


move in on. Intrude on; also, try to take over or get control of. For example, Their sales force is moving in on our territory, or The police moved in on the gang. [Mid-1900s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with move

  • move a muscle
  • move heaven and earth
  • move in
  • move on
  • move up

also see:

  • get a move on
  • on the move

Also see undermover.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.