prime mover

noun

Definition of prime mover

1a : an initial source of motive power (such as a windmill, waterwheel, turbine, or internal combustion engine) designed to receive and modify force and motion as supplied by some natural source and apply them to drive machinery
b : a powerful tractor or truck usually with all-wheel drive
2 : the self-moved being that is the source of all motion
3 : the original or most effective force in an undertaking or work education is … a prime mover of cultural and societal change— R. C. Buck

Examples of prime mover in a Sentence

She was the prime mover behind the town's annual summer festival.
Recent Examples on the Web The prime mover in this ever-expanding universe of stories is a manufacturer of ladies’ garments, who regularly travels from New York to Thailand. Washington Post, "Want to know the ‘Secrets of Happiness’? The characters in Joan Silber’s new novel are looking, too.," 26 Apr. 2021 There is no reason to mention Yoko as the prime mover in this dust-up. Amy Dickinson, Star Tribune, "Ask Amy: Friendship fracture breaks up the band," 24 Mar. 2021 Trump remains the prime mover and the biggest figure in the Republican Party. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Here's the biggest myth in the Republican Party today," 12 Apr. 2021 There is no reason to mention Yoko as the prime mover in this dust-up. Amy Dickinson, Star Tribune, "Ask Amy: Friendship fracture breaks up the band," 24 Mar. 2021 There is no reason to mention Yoko as the prime mover in this dust-up. Amy Dickinson, Star Tribune, "Ask Amy: Friendship fracture breaks up the band," 24 Mar. 2021 There is no reason to mention Yoko as the prime mover in this dust-up. Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Friendship fracture breaks up the band," 25 Mar. 2021 There is no reason to mention Yoko as the prime mover in this dustup. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Texting slip up lets friends know what buddy’s wife really thinks of them," 25 Mar. 2021 There is no reason to mention Yoko as the prime mover in this dustup. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Friendship fracture breaks up band," 25 Mar. 2021

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

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for prime mover

(sense 2) translation of Medieval Latin prīmum mōbile, prīmus mōtus, prīmus mōtor or other variants

Note: See also etymology at primum mobile.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about prime mover

Time Traveler for prime mover

Time Traveler

The first known use of prime mover was in 1795

See more words from the same year

Statistics for prime mover

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prime mover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prime%20mover. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for prime mover

prime mover

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prime mover

: a person or thing that starts something or that has a very powerful influence on something

prime mover

noun
\ ˈprīm-ˈmü-vər How to pronounce prime mover (audio) \

Medical Definition of prime mover

Comments on prime mover

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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