[ moo-ver ]
/ ˈmu vər /


a person or thing that moves.
Often movers. a person or company whose business is the moving of household effects or office equipment from one location to another.
a powerful and influential person, as in politics or business.
a person who is energetic and ambitious; go-getter.


    movers and shakers, Informal. powerful and influential people, as in politics and business.

Origin of mover

First recorded in 1350–1400, mover is from the Middle English word mevere. See move, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for movers and shakers (1 of 2)

movers and shakers

pl n

informal the people with power and influence in a particular field of activity

Word Origin for movers and shakers

C20: perhaps from the line ``We are the movers and shakers of the world for ever'' in `Ode' by Arthur O'Shaughnessy (1844–81), British poet

British Dictionary definitions for movers and shakers (2 of 2)


/ (ˈmuːvə) /


informal a person, business, idea, etc, that is advancing or progressing
a person who moves a proposal, as in a debate
US and Canadian a removal firm or a person who works for one
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 movers and shakers



late 14c., agent noun from move (v.). Originally of God. Meaning "one who moves goods as a profession" is from 1838.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with movers and shakers


In addition to the idiom beginning with mover

  • mover and shaker

also see:

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