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 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
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

Synonyms & Antonyms for movement



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 As an idealistic child of the 1960s, Zia had moved from Boston to Detroit in the 1970s to be part of the labor movement in a place known nationally known for its strong unions. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 16 June 2022 In this movie, the action jumps to the year 2040, when the anti-Purge movement has grown so large that a senator has decided to run for president using the ending of The Purge as a platform. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 16 June 2022 But the worst movement disorders are progressive and incurable. Dan Horn, The Enquirer, 16 June 2022 Roswell firefighters devised a plan and cut the crowbar while limiting the victim’s movement as much as possible. Matt Bruce, ajc, 16 June 2022 The conductor defaulted to conducting the rest of the first movement from memory without so much as a flinch. Hannah Edgar, Chicago Tribune, 16 June 2022 One study of nongolfers, for instance, discovered that an external focus of attention, such as focusing on the club during the swing, was more effective for performance than an internal focus on arm movement. Paul Christianson, WSJ, 15 June 2022 This is also the perfect time to update your concealer to something that's as flexible as your expressive face, like the new movement-friendly formulas from Honest Beauty and Huda Beauty. Marci Robin, Allure, 15 June 2022 The pieces’ designs are inspired by different art periods, from the 1920s to the 1980s—architecture, painting, but also interlacing movement echoing couture symbols. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, 15 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of movement

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

Learn More About movement

Time Traveler for movement

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near movement



move on

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for movement

Last Updated

18 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Movement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for movement


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

More from Merriam-Webster on movement

Nglish: Translation of movement for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of movement for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about movement


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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