\ˈmüv \
moved; moving

Definition of move 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a(1) : to go or pass to another place or in a certain direction with a continuous motion moved into the shade

(2) : to proceed toward a certain state or condition moving up the executive ladder

(3) : to become transferred during play checkers move along diagonally adjacent squares

(4) : to keep pace moving with the times

b : to start away from some point or place : depart It was getting late and I thought it was time to be moving.

c : to change one's residence or location decided to move to the city

2 : to carry on one's life or activities in a specified environment moves in the best circles

3 : to change position or posture : stir ordered him not to move

4 : to take action : act The time has come to make up your mind and move.

5a : to begin operating or functioning or working in a usual way pushed a button and the machine began moving

b : to show marked activity after a lull things really began to move

c : to move a piece (as in chess or checkers) during one's turn

6 : to make a formal request, application, or appeal moved that the meeting adjourn

7 : to change hands by being sold or rented goods that moved slowly

8 of the bowels : evacuate

transitive verb

1a(1) : to change the place or position of moved the chair to a different part of the room

(2) : to dislodge or displace from a fixed position : budge The knife had sunk deeply into the wood and couldn't be moved.

b : to transfer (something, such as a piece in chess) from one position to another moved the bishop to take the knight

2a(1) : to cause to go or pass from one place to another with a continuous motion move the flag slowly up and down

(2) : to cause to advance moved the troops closer to the enemy

b : to cause to operate or function : actuate this button moves the whole machine

c : to put into activity or rouse up from inactivity news that moved them from their torpor

3 : to cause to change position or posture moved his lips but not a sound was heard

4 : to prompt or rouse to the doing of something : persuade the report moved us to take action

5a : to stir the emotions, feelings, or passions of deeply moved by such kindness

b : to affect in such a way as to lead to an indicated show of emotion the story moved her to tears

6a obsolete : beg

b : to make a formal application to

7 : to propose formally in a deliberative assembly moved the adjournment motion

8 : to cause (the bowels) to void

9 : to cause to change hands through sale or rent The salesman moved three cars today.

move house

British : to change one's residence



Definition of move (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of moving a piece (as in chess)

b : the turn of a player to move

2a : a step taken especially to gain an objective : maneuver a move to end the dispute retiring early was a smart move

b : the action of moving from a motionless position

c : one of a pattern of dance steps

d : a change of residence or location

e : an agile or deceptive action especially in sports

on the move

1 : in a state of moving about from place to place

2 : in a state of moving ahead or making progress said that civilization is always on the move

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Choose the Right Synonym for move


move, actuate, drive, impel mean to set or keep in motion. move is very general and implies no more than the fact of changing position. moved the furniture actuate stresses transmission of power so as to work or set in motion. turbines actuated by waterpower drive implies imparting forward and continuous motion and often stresses the effect rather than the impetus. a ship driven aground by hurricane winds impel is usually figurative and suggests a great motivating impetus. a candidate impelled by ambition

Examples of move in a Sentence


He moved the chair closer to the table. It may be necessary to move the patient to intensive care. The breeze moved the branches of the trees. The branches moved gently in the breeze. She was unable to move her legs. She was so frightened that she could hardly move. I moved over so that she could sit next to me. We moved into the shade. The police were moving through the crowd telling people to move toward the exit. We could hear someone moving around upstairs.


He made a sudden move that scared away the squirrel. an athlete who has some good moves The policeman warned him not to make any false moves. He was afraid to make a move. No one is sure what his next move will be. He's preparing for his move to California.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Aurora Christian comes into the 2018 season having to replace graduated Drew Clippert, who has moved on to Brown of the Ivy League after throwing for 7,881 yards in his three-year career as a starter. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Air apparent: Aurora Christian coaches grooming sophomore Ethan Hampton to power passing attack," 14 July 2018 Our home faced west and the porch would bake as the sun moved across the sky. Jacques Kelly,, "Remembering Baltimore's magical glow from gaslights on a summer night," 14 July 2018 After struggling for years, Rankin had begun to improve his life and had just moved into his own apartment the day of the incident. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Former Navajo Nation police officer sentenced to 16 years in prison for fatal DUI crash," 14 July 2018 Keep the containers moist and move to full sun as soon as the seeds sprout. Tom Maccubbin,, "Caterpillar invasion isn't end for healthy tree," 14 July 2018 Xherdan Shaqiri will undergo a medical at Liverpool on Friday before completing a £13.5m move to Anfield from Stoke City., "Xherdan Shaqiri Set for Liverpool Medical as Reds Close in on Third Summer Signing," 13 July 2018 Since the game moved to the finale in 2014, Kentucky has faced that scenario twice and failed to beat Louisville for its sixth win both times. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "How Kentucky football can win (or lose) against Louisville in 2018," 13 July 2018 City housing officials built apartments there after the state fair moved. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "Remember the old state fairgrounds? It’s Sacramento’s newest urban housing hot spot," 12 July 2018 Thirty-three people have been moved farther inland and people have been advised to get their boats out of the way., "6 dead after attackers target presidential palace," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The sale was initially promoted by Washington as a move that would help a strategic partner fight against criminal organizations. Susannah George,, "We can’t afford to replace empathy with apathy," 13 July 2018 Fellow countryman Marcus Wills assumes the men’s singles slot in a move from New York. Glae Thien,, "Abigail Spears’ net worth is still on upswing in tennis," 13 July 2018 North Korea has yet to take substantial steps to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, and on Thursday appeared to backtrack on a pledge to repatriate the remains of American war dead — a move that Trump weeks ago said the North had already undertaken. Zeke Miller, Washington Post, "Analysis: Trump’s questionable claims of success," 13 July 2018 State school planners are asking fresh questions about Howard County’s proposal for a 620-seat Talbott Springs Elementary School, a move that could delay construction of a new school or renovation of the existing building by at least a year. Jess Nocera, Howard County Times, "New snags in planning for a new, or remodeled, Columbia elementary school," 13 July 2018 In a surprise move, Broadcom agreed to buy CA Technologies for $18.9bn. The Economist, "Business this week," 12 July 2018 However, a knowledgeable source says Loeb and his producing partner Cathy Allyn began shooting June 15 without a completion bond — a dangerous move for investors but not entirely uncommon in the indie film space. Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter, "Amid Firestorm, Anti-Abortion 'Roe v. Wade' Film Still Seeks Financing," 12 July 2018 Sprint’s latest moves follow new unlimited plans introduced by Verizon (vz, +0.03%) and AT&T (t, -1.88%) last month. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Sprint Follows Rivals By Complicating Its Unlimited Mobile Data Plans," 12 July 2018 Preece passed Owen soon after and, after stalking Rocco for a spell, made the move for the lead on lap 20. Shawn Courchesne,, "Preece Holds Off Rocco for SK Modified Win At Thompson Speedwa," 15 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'move.' 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 move


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a(1)


1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for move


Middle English, from Anglo-French mover, moveir, from Latin movēre; probably akin to Sanskrit mīvati he moves, pushes


see move entry 1

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Statistics for move

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for move

The first known use of move was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for move



English Language Learners Definition of move

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cause (something or someone) to go from one place or position to another

: to go from one place or position to another

: to cause (your body or a part of your body) to go from one position to another



English Language Learners Definition of move (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of moving your body or a part of your body

: an action

: the act of moving to a different place


\ˈmüv \
moved; moving

Kids Definition of move

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to go from one place to another Let's move into the shade.

2 : to change the place or position of : shift Move your chair closer.

3 : to set in motion Come on, move your feet.

4 : to cause to act : persuade Your speech moved me to change my opinion.

5 : to affect the feelings of The sad story moved me to tears.

6 : to change position Stop moving until I finish cutting your hair.

7 : to change residence We moved to Illinois.

8 : to suggest according to the rules in a meeting I move to adjourn.



Kids Definition of move (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the action of changing position, place, or residence a sudden move We're excited about our move to a new state.

2 : the act of moving a piece in a game

3 : the turn of a player to move It's your move.

4 : an action taken to accomplish something a career move


\ˈmüv \
moved; moving

Medical Definition of move 

intransitive verb

1 : to go or pass from one place to another

2 of the bowels : to eject fecal matter : evacuate

transitive verb

1 : to change the place or position of

2 : to cause (the bowels) to void

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moved; moving

Legal Definition of move 

intransitive verb

: to make a motion moved to seize the property

transitive verb

: to request (a court) by means of a motion moved the court to vacate the order

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Comments on move

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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