move·​ment | \ ˈmüv-mənt How to pronounce movement (audio) \

Definition of movement

1a(1) : the act or process of moving especially : change of place or position or posture studying the movement of planets
(2) : a particular instance or manner of moving was entranced by her graceful movements
b(1) : a tactical or strategic shifting of a military unit : maneuver
(2) : the advance of a military unit the steady movement of troops across the border
c : action, activity usually used in pluralcarefully watched the movements of the crowd
2a : tendency, trend detected a movement toward fairer pricing
b : a series of organized activities working toward an objective also : an organized effort to promote or attain an end the civil rights movement a movement to increase the minimum wage
3 : the moving parts of a mechanism that transmit a definite motion
b : the rhythmic character or quality of a musical composition a dance movement
c : a distinct structural unit or division having its own key, rhythmic structure, and themes and forming part of an extended musical composition The symphony consisted of three movements.
d : particular rhythmic flow of language : cadence a poem's movement
5a : the quality (as in a painting or sculpture) of representing or suggesting motion
b : the vibrant quality in literature that comes from elements that constantly hold a reader's interest (such as a quickly moving action-filled plot)
6a : an act of voiding (see void entry 3 sense 2a) the bowels : bowel movement sense 3a
b : matter expelled from the bowels at one passage : stool sense 3a

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Synonyms & Antonyms for movement



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Examples of movement in a Sentence

He developed an efficient system for movement of raw materials to the factory. studying the movements of the planets We wore loose clothes to allow for easier movement. the graceful movements of a dancer The police have been keeping a careful record of his movements. There's a movement afoot to rename the town. a book about the history of the civil rights movement They joined the antiwar movement.
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Recent Examples on the Web Over more than two decades, Suleimani, a Shiite, had more impact than the leaders of either Al Qaeda or ISIS, which are both Sunni movements, in shaping the face of the Middle East. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Is the Killing of Qassem Suleimani an Act of War?," 3 Jan. 2020 PATRICIA GLASER Glaser Weil The MeToo movement including innocent as well as guilty people. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, "Content Clashes and the Netflix Effect: Hollywood Lawyers Discuss the Decade Ahead," 2 Jan. 2020 Credit U-M's pre-snap movement, run-option plays, and Gattis’ overall design for keeping the Wolverines in it. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's loss to Alabama was as inevitable as Ohio State. Here's why," 1 Jan. 2020 The offense has shifted away from ball screens and into sets that include more movement, getting all five players involved. Greg Luca,, "Early stumbles not lowering expectations as UTSA enters Conference USA season," 1 Jan. 2020 The environmental justice movement, which began in the 1980s, brought many of these issues to light as local activists protested for their rights. Erin Stone, azcentral, "Winter air really is worse in south, west Phoenix. Here's why," 31 Dec. 2019 According to the complaint, one statement in his journals suggested that he had been influenced by the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, a religious group to which officials also linked one of the attackers in the Jersey City shooting., "Suspect in stabbings did searches for ‘Hitler,’ charges say - The Boston Globe," 31 Dec. 2019 Besides 60-minute high-intensity classes, the gym teaches 45-minute group workouts using body weight, easy gymnastics skills, and light lifting movements, which are a good introduction to fitness for beginners. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "New year, new you: Stick with these fitness trends at 5 new Louisville gyms," 30 Dec. 2019 Climate change has sparked a protest movement, with Extinction Rebellion disrupting daily life in a number of cities. The Economist, "2019 in review: Protest and global warming," 28 Dec. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Time Traveler for movement

Time Traveler

The first known use of movement was in the 14th century

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Statistics for movement

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Movement.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for movement


How to pronounce movement (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of movement

: the act or process of moving people or things from one place or position to another
: the act of moving from one place or position to another
: the act of moving your body or a part of your body


move·​ment | \ ˈmüv-mənt How to pronounce movement (audio) \

Kids Definition of movement

1 : the act or process of moving and especially changing place or position : an instance of moving the movement of the planets
2 : a program or series of acts working toward a desired end a reform movement
3 : a mechanical arrangement (as of wheels) for causing a particular motion (as in a clock or watch)
4 : a section of a longer piece of music a movement in a symphony
5 : an emptying of waste matter from the bowels


move·​ment | \ ˈmüv-mənt How to pronounce movement (audio) \

Medical Definition of movement

1 : the act or process of moving
2a : an act of voiding the bowels : bowel movement
b : matter expelled from the bowels at one passage : stool

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Comments on movement

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to insert between existing elements

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