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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Stabilizing your spine also helps ensure that movement comes from your hips for these moves, not from your back. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "8 Transverse Abdominis Exercises to Work the Forgotten Muscles of Your Core," 17 Nov. 2020 The defund the police movement did not go over well. Michael Hamad,, "Trumpism isn’t going away in Connecticut. Here’s why.," 17 Nov. 2020 The open source movement runs on the heroic efforts of not enough people doing too much work. Clive Thompson, Wired, "The Few, the Tired, the Open Source Coders," 17 Nov. 2020 Parkinson’s disease is a progressive and degenerative neurological disorder that impacts a person’s movement and coordination, according to the National Institute on Aging. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Parkinson’s patients, caregivers find strength through grassroots support group," 17 Nov. 2020 That overhearing provided the day’s first glorious musical jolt: the quartet played the first movement of Beethoven’s quartet, Op. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Beethoven for One” Boldly Imagines a New Kind of Concert," 17 Nov. 2020 Kanoa Green doesn't just promote a healthy, balanced lifestyle and lead virtual movement classes. Michella Oré, Glamour, "31 Inspiring Fitness Women to Follow on Instagram," 17 Nov. 2020 But the two parties are showing no movement toward each other that would bridge the wide gap between their two plans to provide more federal aid. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "No talks occurring between House and Senate leaders on coronavirus aid package," 17 Nov. 2020 The youth movement ran deep through the team Berhalter used against Panama. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "Soccer newsletter: It’s hard not to get excited about the potential of the U.S. men’s team," 17 Nov. 2020

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

Time Traveler for movement

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for movement

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Movement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!