motor

noun
mo·​tor | \ ˈmō-tər How to pronounce motor (audio) \

Definition of motor

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : one that imparts motion specifically : prime mover
2 : any of various power units that develop energy or impart motion: such as
a : a small compact engine
b : internal combustion engine especially : a gasoline engine
c : a rotating machine that transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy
3 : motor vehicle especially : automobile

motor

adjective

Definition of motor (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : causing or imparting motion
b : of, relating to, or being a motor neuron or a nerve containing motor neurons motor fiber
c : of, relating to, concerned with, or involving muscular movement motor areas of the brain
2a : equipped with or driven by a motor
b : of, relating to, or involving an automobile
c : designed for motor vehicles or motorists

motor

verb
motored; motoring; motors

Definition of motor (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to travel by automobile : drive
2 : to move or proceed at a vigorous steady pace motored down the field for a touchdown

transitive verb

: to transport by automobile

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from motor

Noun

motordom \ ˈmō-​tər-​dəm How to pronounce motordom (audio) \ noun
motorless \ ˈmō-​tər-​ləs How to pronounce motorless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of motor in a Sentence

Noun

the device was equipped with a small electrical motor to make the gears spin went shopping for a new automobile at Valley Motors

Adjective

motor areas of the brain

Verb

We spent the afternoon motoring through the countryside. The car motored slowly up the hill.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Seems that the suspects backed the alleged getaway vehicle into a stall close to the exit of the Target on Harbison Drive and left the motor running. Kim Fu, The Mercury News, "Three Antioch residents nabbed in brazen liquor burglary attempt foiled by Vacaville police," 10 July 2019 With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil and blend until creamy and very smooth. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: How to select (and utilize) melon," 2 July 2019 With the motor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube. 7. Sheryl Julian, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Spanish romesco sauce, whirred with tomatoes and peppers, is incredibly appealing," 17 June 2019 Step 3 With the motor running, drizzle in the oil a little at a time, processing until the mixture is smooth and emulsified. Joe Yonan, Washington Post, "This dairy-free ranch dressing is primed for your summertime salads," 9 June 2019 With motor running, drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil and process until smooth. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "The Best Reason to Bake, Not Fry: Flavor," 12 Oct. 2018 Some of the main areas of decrease include property crime as well as motor-vehicle theft. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Crime down 'significantly' in South Milwaukee in 2017; over a quarter down in the first quarter of 2018," 20 June 2018 With the motor running, very gradually stream in ½ cup oil. Claire Saffitz, Bon Appetit, "Romesco Pasta Salad with Basil and Parmesan," 28 May 2018 Toyota, for example, has a system of three audible signals outside the car, and one inside, to alert drivers getting out of a vehicle that the motor is still running. Anchorage Daily News, "Keyless cars are convenient, but can lead to a deadly error," 14 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ryan Braun opened the inning with a single to center, then motored to third on a double to center by Eric Thames, his second in two at-bats. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 4, Mariners 2: Anderson delivers clutch start to avoid sweep by last-place Mariners," 27 June 2019 Back in the water off Fort Bragg, Fonts motors his boat a few hundred yards away and drops a small anchor. Nick Rahaim, SFChronicle.com, "Without abalone, spearfishing hooks North Coast anglers," 17 June 2019 One afternoon, the owner of this herd of Highlanders motored up our driveway and rolled the window down, presumably to complain about the General. Bulletin Board, Twin Cities, "Sunday Bulletin Board: Like sands through the hourglass, these are the loads of our lives!," 9 June 2019 Well, once more the Grumpy Lobster Boat Captain, Bill Belichick, has repaired the motor—and 5-2 New England (playing Buffalo Monday) has motored to gentler seas. Gosh, I really should be arrested for that last sentence. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Football’s Cardboard Box of Melancholy," 28 Oct. 2018 But seeing two adorable little people motoring around my house is amazing. Andrea Stanley, Redbook, "11 Moms Reveal the One Thing No One Told Them About Having Twins," 16 June 2017 Current owner Queen Elizabeth II, who carries on the family tradition and spends summers there, and can sometimes be spotted motoring to Sunday services at Crathie Kirk, the nearby parish church. Cathy Newman, WSJ, "A Chic Scottish Sojourn Among the Manors," 7 Dec. 2018 Few on this car-crazed strip seemed to realize the white Porsche motoring silently between two Los Angeles County Sheriff cruisers last week. Tom Voelk, New York Times, "Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo Review: ‘Silence Is the New Power’," 6 June 2018 After a weekend spent motoring around the San Francisco Bay Area in the Model 3 Performance Edition, here are the 10 features that required the largest mental adjustment. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "The 10 Hardest Things To Get Used to on the Tesla Model 3," 10 Oct. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of motor

Noun

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1895, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for motor

Noun

Latin, from movēre to move

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about motor

Statistics for motor

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for motor

The first known use of motor was in 1586

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for motor

motor

noun

English Language Learners Definition of motor

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a machine that produces motion or power for doing work

motor

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of motor (Entry 2 of 3)

: of, relating to, used in, or involving a vehicle that is powered by a motor (such as a car or motorcycle)
: having a motor
technical : of or relating to the part of the nervous system that controls the movement of muscles

motor

verb

English Language Learners Definition of motor (Entry 3 of 3)

: to travel in a car
of a car, truck, etc. : to move in a specified manner or direction

motor

noun
mo·​tor | \ ˈmō-tər How to pronounce motor (audio) \

Kids Definition of motor

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a machine that produces motion or power for doing work an electric motor

motor

adjective

Kids Definition of motor (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or designed for use in an automobile a motor trip motor oil
2 : equipped with or driven by a motor
3 : causing or controlling movement motor nerves

motor

verb
motored; motoring

Kids Definition of motor (Entry 3 of 3)

motor

adjective
mo·​tor | \ ˈmōt-ər How to pronounce motor (audio) \

Medical Definition of motor

1 : causing or imparting motion
2 : of, relating to, or being a motor neuron or a nerve containing motor neurons motor fibers motor cells
3 : of, relating to, concerned with, or involving muscular movement motor areas of the brain

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on motor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with motor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for motor

Spanish Central: Translation of motor

Nglish: Translation of motor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of motor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about motor

Comments on motor

What made you want to look up motor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!