prime mover


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

Andre, 39, is the visionary behind the project, buying the old theater and enlisting his parents as prime movers on scene. Mary Colurso |, al, "There’s new life at Bessemer’s historic Lincoln Theatre, thanks to actor Andre Holland and family," 12 Sep. 2019 Odder still is the idea that a currency that has only fairly limited use outside China is suddenly a prime mover in global capital markets. The Economist, "How yuan-dollar became the world’s most closely watched asset price," 8 Aug. 2019 One of the prime movers in that evolution is skeptical about the current boomlet. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, "At AFI Docs, audiences seem younger than ever. Is it a trend?," 20 June 2019 The prime mover behind the new law, Kromenaker said, was Rep. Daniel Johnston, a Republican from Kathryn, North Dakota. NBC News, "AMA says North Dakota is trying to turn abortion doctors into 'government mouthpieces'," 2 July 2019 Amazon is also building out its own network of telecommunications satellite in a separate project called Kuiper, while founder Jeff Bezos is the prime mover behind Blue Origin, an important rocket-making start-up. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Amazon’s most lucrative business is headed to space," 31 May 2019 Outside his office there's a photograph of the Supreme Court's chambers of Justice Antonin Scalia, the prime mover of originalism over the last half-century. Fox News, "Rep. McCaul on chances Congress can solve immigration crisis," 24 June 2018 Meantime, South Korea’s President Moon – the prime mover behind the summit – is moving ahead with peace efforts, with or without Trump. Trudy Rubin,, "Trump-Kim summit: What to watch for when they meet in Singapore | Trudy Rubin," 6 June 2018 The prime mover behind the Ohio State probe was a former wrestler and former Jordan friend named Mike DiSabato, who said Strauss groped him a number of times. NBC News, "Nancy Pelosi backs Ohio State wrestlers who criticized Jim Jordan," 12 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of prime mover

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for prime mover

translation of Medieval Latin primus motor

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Statistics for prime mover

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for prime mover

The first known use of prime mover was in 1795

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prime mover


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

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

Medical Definition of prime mover

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to spread over or through

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