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



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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 In this particular case, King’s arrest was captured by the photojournalist Charles Moore, an admirer who would go on to become an influential chronicler of the civil-rights movement. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, 10 Jan. 2022 However, the film’s Black consciousness reflected his, Belafonte’s, and Dee’s activism during the civil-rights movement. Samantha N. Sheppard, The Atlantic, 9 Jan. 2022 The movie, released amid the civil rights movement, tells the story of a Philadelphia detective that assists in a Mississippi murder case with a racist policeman and features some of the most powerful moments from Poitier's career. Liz Mcneil,, 8 Jan. 2022 Most of his roles from the 1950s through the 1960s, befitting an era shaped by Brown v. Board of Education and the civil rights movement, were linked by varying tensions between his Black characters and Whites' reactions to them. Gene Seymour, CNN, 7 Jan. 2022 In addition to carefully choosing roles that challenged stereotypes, Poitier was a supporter of the civil rights movement. al, 7 Jan. 2022 The nation’s divisiveness on race issues, laid bare by the civil-rights movement, was approaching a fever-pitch just as his career took flight in the late 1950s. R.t. Watson, WSJ, 7 Jan. 2022 Poitier made Hollywood history, by breaking from the stereotypes of bug-eyed entertainers, and American history, by appearing in films during the 1950s and 1960s that paralleled the growth of the civil rights movement. Hillel Italie, ajc, 7 Jan. 2022 In addition to his trailblazing acting career, Poitier was also a prominent activist within the civil rights movement, attending the March on Washington alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and advocating for those in poverty. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 7 Jan. 2022

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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Dictionary Entries Near movement



move on

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Statistics for movement

Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Movement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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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 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


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