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
5 : mechanism
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

move, movement, shift, shifting, stir, stirring

Synonyms: Verb

beckon, flag, gesture, signal, wave

Antonyms: Noun

motionlessness

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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

The study explains how rocking motions triggers a calming reaction and slows down the infant's heartbeat. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Hanging Cribs Are the Newest Trend For Your Nursery," 26 Feb. 2019 Judge John Robert Blakey heard arguments last week on the city’s motion to dismiss. Michael Tarm, The Seattle Times, "Judge OKs suit aimed at halting Obama library in Chicago," 19 Feb. 2019 Crab Crawl: Backward or sideways motion is directed by the hands. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "When Do Babies Crawl? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 28 Jan. 2019 Dad was always busy, a man in constant motion, but never too busy to share his love of life with those around him. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of President George W. Bush's Eulogy for His Father," 5 Dec. 2018 The judge overseeing the case rejected motions from both sides Friday asking to rule on their behalf. Fox News, "Harvard discrimination lawsuit officially headed to trial," 28 Sep. 2018 Ohio's Supreme Court denied Van Hook's motion on July 5 without additional comment. CBS News, "Prosecutor: Bring back firing squads for executions," 13 July 2018 And then, the hard part: To repeat your partner’s own story back to that person, but using only motions and mime, not words. James Hebert, sandiegouniontribune.com, "For theater community, finding ways to reflect societal diversity onstage is more urgent than ever," 13 July 2018 Ever notice that some college offense will line up and possibly go through some motion or quarterback cadence before 11 heads suddenly turn to the sideline? Andy Staples, SI.com, "Like It or Not, College Football Is Influencing the NFL," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bale took a step back, motioning to the net and got a spin on it. SI.com, "Watch: Gareth Bale Scores Insane Bicycle-Kick Goal in Champions League Final," 26 May 2018 Barrett, who lined up predominantly at receiver, motioned into the backfield a few times and finished with four carries for 39 yards, including a 23-yarder to open the second half. Tom Green, AL.com, "Assessing Auburn's running back competition after A-Day," 7 Apr. 2018 Cantor says, motioning to the lowest part of her back. David Nash, Town & Country, "James Galanos and the Integrity of 20th Century Fashion," 6 Nov. 2018 After Coons spoke, Flake walked around the dais, tapped him on the shoulder and motioned into the anteroom, where the two began negotiations. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Seattle Times, "From Africa to the anteroom: Flake, Coons forge rare bond," 2 Oct. 2018 One of the suspects pulled out a pistol and motioned for the woman to get out of her car. Michelle Hunter, NOLA.com, "Woman carjacked in Lower Garden District Saturday night," 14 Jan. 2018 On Monday night's episode, one contestant wowed coaches Adam Levine and Jennifer Hudson, while Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton never motioned to turn their chairs—and fans were not happy. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Fans Are Calling Out Producers for This Cringeworthy Mistake," 9 Oct. 2018 To be clear, Trump could’ve been motioning to any number of things. Alvin Chang, Vox, "We analyzed every QAnon post on Reddit. Here’s who QAnon supporters actually are.," 8 Aug. 2018 Just last month California motioned to ban all cosmetic animal testing for products sold in the state by 2020. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "CoverGirl Just Announced It's Now Entirely Cruelty-Free," 5 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for motion

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for motion

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

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More Definitions for motion

motion

noun

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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More from Merriam-Webster on motion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with motion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for motion

Spanish Central: Translation of motion

Nglish: Translation of motion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of motion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about motion

Comments on motion

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