move·ment | \ˈmüv-mənt \

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 plural carefully 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

4a : motion sense 7

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

b : matter expelled from the bowels at one passage

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for movement


motion, move, shift, shifting, stir, stirring



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Dedina said part of his inspiration to beautify Imperial Beach was the public art movement of Tijuana. Gustavo Solis,, "Public art murals popping up in Imperial Beach," 11 July 2018 Hobbyists and members of the maker movement use desktop 3D printers, typically costing a few thousand dollars, to print plastic parts from digital designs. Jason Pontin, WIRED, "3D Printing Is the Future of Factories (for Real This Time)," 11 July 2018 There has been some increased activity on a national level, especially in light of movement from the Trump administration and new HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson to cut federal funding for housing aid and public housing. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Rent control and tenants’ rights set to be larger political issues in 2018 elections," 11 July 2018 And there's no movement yet towards a next album, according to Valentine. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Maroon 5 Guitarist James Valentine on Touring, 'Frenetic' Record Cycles," 5 July 2018 Whilst there doesn't appear to be any movement in United's plot to sign Sandro, it's understood that should the transfer go through, Juventus would be looking to open talks with Darmian as a replacement., "Man Utd 'Constantly Alert' Over Possible Deal for Juventus Star With Defender Linked to Serie A Side," 5 July 2018 Although there is no national movement to ban plastic bags in the United States yet, several cities and states have taken it up. Radhika Viswanathan, Vox, "Why everyone is shunning plastic straws," 4 July 2018 There hasn't been much movement on that end of operations around the league, either, which is surprising because so many teams lack salary-cap space. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: LeBron James' departure to the West opens up field for Pacers, Victor Oladipo," 2 July 2018 Guidance from above There is some movement to improve the technological posture of the city as a whole. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Baltimore’s police department is a technological disaster," 29 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of movement

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about movement

Dictionary Entries near movement

move it




move on

move one's ass

move out

Phrases Related to movement

Arts and Crafts Movement

false moves/movements

Statistics for movement

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for movement

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for movement



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 \

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on movement

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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