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

In early February 2017, 39-year-old collector Zach Tann would unknowingly set in motion one of the biggest scandals in Star Wars collecting history. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 Then, reverse the sweeping motion of the left leg (down knee) to return to the open half-kneeling position. Amy Marturana, SELF, "How to Do a Turkish Get-up," 8 Feb. 2019 Moving charges also generate magnetic fields, which complicate matters even more, since these also modify the motion of charges. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Technical tour-de-force traps positrons," 11 Dec. 2018 The prime minister's abrupt resignation came ahead of a vote on a motion of censure Lafontant, a first step toward asking that Moise name a new prime minister to form a Cabinet to handle the crisis. Ezequiel Abiu Lopez And Evens Sanon, chicagotribune.com, "Haiti's prime minister resigns after plan to raise fuel prices sparked deadly protests," 14 July 2018 Issa, the main character played by Rae, is a twenty-something going through the motions of a breakup; working an unfulfilling and slightly problematic job; and scaling the highs and lows of life with her friends. refinery29.com, "Issa Rae Finally Got An Emmy Nod & I Can't Stop Crying," 12 July 2018 Instead, in a giddy bubble of insignificance, the young parties are bustling through the political motions, setting up party headquarters, creating logos and drafting bylaws. Julia Wallace, New York Times, "‘Fireflies’ and ‘Ghosts’ in Cambodia Prop Up Facade of Real Election," 11 July 2018 The doctor now lingered in that corner of the room; the motions of his hands were hidden from sight. Paul Collins, BostonGlobe.com, "What lies in the lab: The gruesome murder at Harvard that transfixed New England," 11 July 2018 Such a curved surface would allow motion of that big toe—which modern apes use for grasping. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Ancient Toddler Was at Home on the Ground and in the Trees," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Translucent balloon bubbles floated from the ceiling and ocean blue lights splashed the room, where smiling mermaids motioned revelers to the dining room—more The Little Mermaid than The Shape of Water. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "Last Night’s Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Hot Pink Party Was a Family Affair," 18 May 2018 Shanahan’s difference-makers, however, tend to be running backs and tight ends, since his scheme is so crafty in shifting and motioning those players before the snap. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "NFL Draft Needs: All 32 Teams," 25 Apr. 2018 Cellphone video appears to show the lead singer motioning toward a fan in the crowd, before removing his guitar and jumping off stage. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Trump supporter says he took beating after protesting Social Distortion singer's politics," 16 Aug. 2018 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

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

8 Apr 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

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