motion

noun
mo·​tion | \ ˈmō-shən How to pronounce motion (audio) \

Definition of motion

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : an act, process, or instance of changing place : movement a pendulum in motion
b : an active or functioning state or condition set the divorce proceedings in motion
2 : an impulse or inclination of the mind or will the fundamental motions of humanity to good or evil— T. S. Eliot
3a : a proposal for action especially : a formal proposal made in a deliberative assembly made a motion that the meeting be adjourned
b : an application made to a court or judge to obtain an order, ruling, or direction His motion for a new trial was denied.
4 obsolete
a : a puppet show
b : puppet
6a : an act or instance of moving the body or its parts : gesture signaled with a motion of his arm
b motions plural : activities, movements taking advantage of the night to conceal his motions
7 : melodic change of pitch
in motion
American Football, of an offensive player : running parallel to the line of scrimmage before the snap

motion

verb
motioned; motioning\ ˈmō-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce motioning (audio) \

Definition of motion (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to signal by a movement or gesture the pitcher motioned to the catcher

transitive verb

: to direct by a motion motioned me to the seat

Motion

biographical name
Mo·​tion | \ ˈmō-shən How to pronounce Motion (audio) \

Definition of Motion (Entry 3 of 3)

Sir Andrew 1952–     British poet; poet laureate (1999–2009)

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Other Words from motion

Noun

motional \ ˈmō-​shnəl How to pronounce motional (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
motionless \ ˈmō-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce motionless (audio) \ adjective
motionlessly adverb
motionlessness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for motion

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of motion in a Sentence

Noun She has a simple golf swing with no wasted motion. the rhythmic motions of the waves He caught the ball and flipped it back to me in one fluid motion. The wax should be applied using a circular motion. He made hand motions to get our attention. She made a motion calling for the repeal of the law. Her motion was voted on. His lawyer filed a motion for a mistrial. The judge denied a motion to delay the hearing. Verb The guard motioned us through the gate. She motioned to her assistant. She motioned at the empty chair beside her and told me to sit down.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Everything changed for the Falklands because of a chain of events set in motion by the decision of General Leopoldo Galtieri, then President of Argentina, to invade, in April, 1982. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "How Prosperity Transformed the Falklands," 29 June 2020 You’s plot is set in motion when Bella pops out for a drink during her drafting process. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "I May Destroy You Is About So Much More Than Rape," 26 June 2020 Cepeda’s lawsuit is the latest salvo in a bitter dispute that has moved to the courts and was set in motion after the Hall of Famer in December remarried his second wife, Nydia. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants great Orlando Cepeda denies having dementia, sues daughter-in-law for fraud," 26 June 2020 Online learning, single rooms in hotels as dorms and staggered scheduling are just some of the ideas in motion for 2020's fall semester. Samuel Zwickel, Detroit Free Press, "Coronavirus delivers chaos for students applying for college: 'Everything is unknown"," 2 Aug. 2020 That same legislation set in motion the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for those who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment insurance — people like gig workers, independent contractors and owners of small businesses. Washington Post, "Ten bucks left, no place to go: How the pandemic and a broken unemployment system are upending people’s lives," 1 Aug. 2020 The conquest of Palermo set in motion a domino effect that knocked Mussolini from power, and the Italians out of the war. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Global markets power back as Big Tech drowns out the coronavirus and GDP gloom," 31 July 2020 It’s expressed in time, in numbers, in bodies in motion. Danny Chau, The Atlantic, "The NBA’s Florida Bubble Follows an Age-Old Historical Model," 30 July 2020 Pence, whose motorcade was back in motion soon after, is in Pennsylvania on a campaign trip. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Pence's motorcade involved in two accidents during Pennsylvania trip," 30 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb DeWine handed the microphone to Acton, dressed in a dark suit, and had to motion her toward the podium. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "First came the pandemic, then came the politics: Why Amy Acton quit," 13 June 2020 The push, the pulls’ At the Emergency Operations Center, Fire Chief Charles Hood motioned for Emerick to step out of a meeting of the testing task force and into the central command space. Brian Chasnoff, ExpressNews.com, "Metro Health director came to San Antonio just ahead of the coronavirus," 16 May 2020 Tatum motioned to Gordon Hayward, who caught a pass well beyond the left arc with 14 seconds left. Adam Himmelsbach, BostonGlobe.com, "Did the Celtics make right move not calling time to set up last play against Rockets in overtime loss?," 1 Mar. 2020 Board Chairwoman Kathleen Causey raised the topic of the election for chair and vice chair, and Vice Chair Julie Henn immediately motioned to move the board into a closed administrative session without a closing statement that is required by law. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County school board violated open meetings law, parent alleges," 5 Dec. 2019 Second, motioning his wide receiver in tight helped block the run call, yet the motion did not give the play away. cleveland, "Kevin Stefanski wants a healthy ‘marriage’ between run and pass. What might that look like for the Browns? -- Film review," 15 Jan. 2020 Watch how motioning the slot receiver forces the Chargers defense into a check. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Browns fullback Andy Janovich possesses the tools to become Kevin Stefanski’s secret weapon -- Film review," 3 Apr. 2020 In another hearing Wednesday before the same panel of judges, lawyers representing Oak View Comunidad and Los Alamitos Community United argued in their appeal, which Huntington Beach motioned to dismiss. Julia Sclafani, Daily Pilot, "Court hears appeals of ruling that exempted Huntington Beach from state ‘sanctuary’ law," 23 Oct. 2019 During an emergency meeting April 3, Mayor George Fuller motioned to shut down the courses, noting that golfers could achieve the same exercise by walking, as permitted under the city’s shelter-in-place order. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, "McKinney golf courses remain open after mayor’s motion to shut them down fails," 9 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'motion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of motion

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1747, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for motion

Noun and Verb

Middle English mocioun, from Anglo-French motion, from Latin motion-, motio movement, from movēre to move

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Time Traveler for motion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for motion

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Motion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motion. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for motion

motion

noun
How to pronounce Motion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of motion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an act or process of moving
: a movement of your body or of a part of your body
: a formal suggestion or proposal that is made at a meeting for something to be done

motion

verb

English Language Learners Definition of motion (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a movement of your hand, head, etc., that tells someone to move or act in a certain way

motion

noun
mo·​tion | \ ˈmō-shən How to pronounce motion (audio) \

Kids Definition of motion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act or process of changing place or position : movement We felt the swaying motion of the train.
2 : a movement of the body or its parts … the motion of his arms was not unlike the flapping of a pair of wings.— Washington Irving, “Sleepy Hollow”
3 : a formal plan or suggestion for action offered according to the rules of a meeting She made a motion to adjourn.

Other Words from motion

motionless \ -​ləs \ adjective She stood motionless.

motion

verb
motioned; motioning

Kids Definition of motion (Entry 2 of 2)

: to direct or signal by a movement or sign Instantly she set the bird down and motioned everyone away …— Carolyn Keene, The Double Jinx Mystery

motion

noun
mo·​tion | \ ˈmō-shən How to pronounce motion (audio) \

Medical Definition of motion

1 : an act, process, or instance of changing place : movement
2a : an evacuation of the bowels
b : the matter evacuated often used in plural blood in the motionsLancet

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motion

noun
mo·​tion

Legal Definition of motion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a proposal for action especially : a formal proposal made in a legislative assembly made a motion to refer the bill to committee
2a : an application made to a court or judge to obtain an order, ruling, or direction a motion to arrest judgment also : a document containing such an application
b : the initiative of a court to issue an order, ruling, or direction the court is given discretion to order a pretrial conference either on its own motion or at the request of a party— J. H. Friedenthal et al.
motion for a more definite statement
: a motion that is filed before an answer and that requests the court to order the plaintiff to clarify allegations in the complaint because the claims are so vague or ambiguous that an answer cannot reasonably be framed
motion for judgment on the pleadings
: a motion made after pleadings have been entered that requests the court to issue a judgment at that point — compare summary judgment at judgment sense 1a

Note: Under Rule 12(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if matters outside of the pleadings are presented to the court when a motion for judgment on the pleadings is made, the motion will be treated as a motion for summary judgment.

motion in limine \ -​in-​ˈli-​mə-​nē \
: a usually pretrial motion that requests the court to issue an interlocutory order which prevents an opposing party from introducing or referring to potentially irrelevant, prejudicial, or otherwise generally inadmissible evidence until the court has finally ruled on its admissibility
motion to strike
1 : a motion in a civil trial to remove from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter
2 : a motion in a criminal trial to exclude evidence from the record
motion to suppress
: a pretrial motion requesting the court to exclude evidence that was obtained illegally and especially in violation of Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment protections
omnibus motion \ ˈäm-​ni-​bəs-​ \
: a motion that makes multiple requests filing an omnibus motion to dismiss and for a more definite statementDepartment of Ins. of Florida v. Coopers & Lybrand, 570 So. 2d 369 (1990)

motion

verb

Legal Definition of motion (Entry 2 of 2)

: move motioned for a summary judgment

History and Etymology for motion

Noun

Anglo-French, from Latin motion-, motio movement, from movēre to move

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Comments on motion

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