1

motion

noun mo·tion \ ˈmō-shən \
Updated on: 12 Dec 2017

Definition of motion

1 a : 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
3 a : 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
5 : mechanism
6 a : 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

motional

play \ˈmō-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl\ adjective

motionless

play \ˈmō-shən-ləs\ adjective

motionlessly

adverb

motionlessness

noun
in motion
American Football, of an offensive player : running parallel to the line of scrimmage before the snap

Examples of motion in a Sentence

  1. She has a simple golf swing with no wasted motion.

  2. the rhythmic motions of the waves

  3. He caught the ball and flipped it back to me in one fluid motion.

  4. The wax should be applied using a circular motion.

  5. He made hand motions to get our attention.

  6. She made a motion calling for the repeal of the law.

  7. Her motion was voted on.

  8. His lawyer filed a motion for a mistrial.

  9. The judge denied a motion to delay the hearing.

Recent Examples of motion from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of motion

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


2

motion

verb

Definition of motion

motioned; motioning play \ˈmō-sh(ə-)niŋ\
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

Examples of motion in a Sentence

  1. The guard motioned us through the gate.

  2. She motioned to her assistant.

  3. She motioned at the empty chair beside her and told me to sit down.

Recent Examples of motion from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of motion

motion Synonyms


Motion

biographical name Mo·tion \ ˈmō-shən \

Definition of Motion

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


MOTION Defined for English Language Learners

motion

noun

Definition of motion for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of motion for English Language Learners

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


MOTION Defined for Kids

1

motion

noun mo·tion \ ˈmō-shən \

Definition of motion for Students

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.

motionless

\-ləs\ adjective
  • She stood motionless.

2

motion

verb

Definition of motion for Students

motioned; motioning
: 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

Medical Dictionary

motion

noun mo·tion \ ˈmō-shən \

medical Definition of motion

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

Law Dictionary

1

motion

noun mo·tion

legal Definition of motion

1 : a proposal for action; especially : a formal proposal made in a legislative assembly
  • made a motion to refer the bill to committee
2 a : 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 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 statement
  • Department of Ins. of Florida v. Coopers & Lybrand, 570 So. 2d 369 (1990)

Origin and Etymology of motion

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


2

motion

verb

legal Definition of motion

: move
  • motioned for a summary judgment


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