set in motion

Start something moving, give impetus to something, as in A press conference set the new project in motion. It is also put as set the wheels in motion, as in Let's set the wheels in motion for the new library wing. This idiom dates from about 1800. It was preceded by put in motion, which dates from the mid-1600s.


Nearby words

  1. set foot,
  2. set forth,
  3. set forward,
  4. set function,
  5. set in,
  6. set in one's ways, be,
  7. set off,
  8. set on,
  9. set on a pedestal,
  10. set on fire

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