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 Life on the ocean floor is like a slow-motion competition for space, or an underwater game of musical chairs. Washington Post, "Surprise rescue of Jamaica coral reefs shows nature can heal," 17 Sep. 2019 But a hit on a defenseless opponent does not happen in slow-motion. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Targeting rule takes a toll on Kentucky, exasperates coach Mark Stoops in loss to Florida," 15 Sep. 2019 Other new modes include a low-light Night Mode, and the ability to take slow-motion selfie videos with the front-facing camera. Wired, "Here's Everything Apple Announced Today," 10 Sep. 2019 There was a bigger emphasis on incorporating more technology with players, which included the Edgertronic slow-motion cameras and Rapsodo pitch-tracking devices for pitchers. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "RedsXtra: Cincinnati Reds continue to make changes to their player development system," 5 Sep. 2019 And the change will certainly inspire outrage at some point this season, as fans, and likely coaches, point to contact shown in slow-motion as evidence that their team was wronged. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "As new season begins, NFL coaches still trying to sort out pass interference rule changes," 5 Sep. 2019 Brown’s return to practice last Tuesday after a long absence is shown in slow-motion. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders on ‘Hard Knocks’: Darren Waller opens up, but Antonio Brown dominates," 20 Aug. 2019 Once Provision was set in motion, their young business matured rapidly along with their long-term vision for it. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Combination of signature coffee drinks, cocktails and food keep Provision Coffee buzzing day to night," 18 Aug. 2019 Only the motion concerning the librarian position passed, yet Ibsen did not give up the fight. Andrew Katzenstein, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Conservative," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While Corden motioned that he wasn't impressed by Robinson's performance, the audience erupted into applause. Katherine Schaffstall, The Hollywood Reporter, "Smokey Robinson and James Corden Battle in Soul Music Riff-Off," 15 Aug. 2019 The play in question — facing third down at the Oakland 8-yard line while trailing 14-3 late in the third quarter — featured Hamilton motioning into the slot left of quarterback Joe Flacco in the shotgun. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ DaeSean Hamilton reacts to critical dropped touchdown: “No doubt in my mind I catch that and we win the game”," 10 Sep. 2019 There was a lateral thrown to a receiver motioning out of the backfield … but the target, Joe Horn Jr., wasn’t good enough to make the team. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Offensive ‘revolution’: Ravens aim to turn convention on its head with scheme unlike anything in the NFL," 6 Sep. 2019 However, the situation became even more heated when Corman motioned to return to the previous question. Tara Law, Time, "Pennsylvania Senate Session Descends Into Screaming Match Over Poverty Assistance Program," 29 June 2019 Peel says, motioning to the lines of people snaking all around the arena three hours before the rally is due to start. Time, "Trump Plans to Win New Mexico. His Supporters Aren't So Sure He Can," 17 Sep. 2019 The Rams do a little more receiver motioning, just a lot of confusion in the backfield. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "Five keys for the 49ers to beat the Bengals," 13 Sep. 2019 His wife, Amina Chiboub, motioned to the patrol officer pacing the perimeter three yards away. Nicole Sganga, CBS News, "A shaken mosque welcomes Beto O'Rourke in New Hampshire," 9 Sep. 2019 Two plays later, Agnew scrambled to his left and motioned for wide receiver Kobe Smith to head toward the end zone. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs beat UCLA for the first time with 23-14 victory at the Rose Bowl," 7 Sep. 2019

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

4 Nov 2019

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
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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not being in agreement or harmony

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