com·​move | \ kə-ˈmüv How to pronounce commove (audio) , kä- \
commoved; commoving

Definition of commove

transitive verb

1 : to move violently : agitate
2 : to rouse intense feeling in : excite to passion

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Eighteenth-century English lexicographer Samuel Johnson declared "commove" as being "not in use," but the word had not really disappeared from the language; it was simply, at that time, popular primarily with Scottish writers. The 14th-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer is credited with the first use of "commove," and many writers since have used the word, including Sir Walter Scott and George Eliot. Though not so common today, "commove" does occasionally pop up (to the chagrin of Johnsonians). "Market values tend to commove over time," read one such recent example, which appeared in the February 2007 issue of The Journal of Banking and Finance.

First Known Use of commove

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for commove

Middle English commoeven, from Anglo-French commoveir, from Latin commovēre, from com- + movēre to move

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The first known use of commove was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Commove.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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