\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

Ford moved production of the Focus sedan from Michigan to China, which saved the company around $1 billion. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Trump says China might kill car tariffs, which would boost foreign automakers," 3 Dec. 2018 The family moved to East Tennessee during Lee Standifer’s senior year of high school. Travis Loller, The Seattle Times, "Murder victim’s mother remembers ‘bubbly, happy character’," 28 Nov. 2018 But between 2005 and 2015, China's population moved to urban centers and grew wealthier. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "In China, replacing coal and biomass stoves has saved lives," 21 Nov. 2018 Enrique Jaime moved to Bloomington, California, in 2008 seeking something different. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Your online shopping is polluting this small town," 20 Nov. 2018 Location: Kauai, Hawaii Price: $6,950,000 As the last days of fall start to dwindle into winter, people who pine for sunny skies may dream of moving to a place where summer never ends. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Modern Hawaii home takes indoor-outdoor living to airy heights for $6.9M," 1 Nov. 2018 In between giving moving readings to her clients on Monday's Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo learned that her daughter, Victoria, was dealing with online bullies. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Long Island Medium' Theresa Caputo Shares Heartbreaking Update About Her Daughter's Bullying," 30 Oct. 2018 The show centers on the Crain siblings — Steven, Shirley, Theo, Luke, and Nell — their parents, Olivia and Hugh, and their experiences of moving into a haunted house when the siblings were all children. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "How Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House uses color to underscore its horror," 26 Oct. 2018 Originally excavated in the 1960s, Burial 7/I’s remains have been moved to different storage locations and sometimes mishandled, says Roksandic, who examined the skeleton in the late 1990s and is the paper’s co-author. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "When Farmers and Foragers First Met," 24 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This leg raise variation is a core-centric move that targets multiple muscles in your midsection. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Naomi Campbell Trains While She Travels With This One Versatile Core Move," 23 Nov. 2018 The Teen Vogue Summit is on the move again, and Serena Williams, Storm Reid, Cara Delevingne, and the Teen Vogue editors can't wait to see you there. Teen Vogue Staff, Teen Vogue, "How to Get Tickets for the Teen Vogue Summit Los Angeles 2018," 9 Nov. 2018 The beloved British paint brand has released nine new colors to refresh its iconic palette of 132 hues—a move the company hasn't made since 2016. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Farrow & Ball Releases Nine Gorgeous New Paint Colors," 21 Sep. 2018 Her family is very kind about it, given Olivia is wearing only a lace bra and John's dance moves are questionable at best. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Bachelor in Paradise Season 5, Episode 7 Recap: Leo Is the Worst," 28 Aug. 2018 In July, Twitter also made moves to remove potentially inauthentic activity, resulting in some celebs losing thousands to millions of followers. Hanna Howard, Teen Vogue, "Instagram Announces Steps Against Inauthentic Engagement on the App," 19 Nov. 2018 But Wall Street’s reaction sent a clear message: Make any move to curtail interactions on its platform — even when forced to do so — and there will be a price to pay. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook won’t fix itself," 15 Nov. 2018 Other developers are making similar moves: Boston Properties has proposed an 18-story tower at 325 Main Street that would potentially house new Google offices. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As top innovation hub expands, can straining local infrastructure keep pace?," 6 Nov. 2018 The kind move and educational moment for Kevin earned him some major Twitter points back: Looks like things are going well for Kevin and Zoe. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Why 'This Is Us' Viewers Were Super Upset With Kevin After This Week's Episode," 24 Oct. 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

6 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on move

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with move

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for move

Spanish Central: Translation of move

Nglish: Translation of move for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of move for Arabic Speakers

Comments on move

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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