Definition of motion in English:

motion

noun

  • 1mass noun The action or process of moving or being moved.

    ‘the laws of planetary motion’
    ‘a cushioned shoe that doesn't restrict motion’
    • ‘Sir Isaac Newton formulated a single law of gravitation based on Kepler's three laws of planetary motion.’
    • ‘Johannes Kepler formulated the laws of planetary motion, but died in relative poverty and obscurity in 1631.’
    • ‘For Darwin, matter is not static but is constantly in motion, dynamic, so the universe itself is bursting with life, motion, energy.’
    • ‘One determines the law of gravitation by studying planetary motion, in which gravity is the only significant causal factor.’
    • ‘For example, the first of Newton's famous laws of motion states that a moving body will continue to move in a straight line, at constant speed, until a force acts on it.’
    • ‘At that instant he took a step back and threw her with a simple circular motion of his arm, and a twist of his hip.’
    • ‘Simple circular motion as proscribed by Aristotle did not satisfy the observations.’
    • ‘Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician and astronomer who discovered three key laws that govern planetary motion.’
    • ‘Randy comes up and tells him that he is not doing anything special - it's only the law of circular motion.’
    • ‘Meanwhile coin tossing is in fact a predictable process following predefined physical laws of motion and isn't really random at all.’
    • ‘His fight scenes are choreographed with grace and economy of motion - Flint never moves a molecule more than necessary to get the job done.’
    • ‘Moving in one fluid motion, she opened the door and stepped inside, closing it behind her with a creak.’
    • ‘Her body stretched; her legs moved in a graceful, circular, galloping motion.’
    • ‘Your feet move in a forward circular motion, allowing you to land evenly on your foot.’
    • ‘The scientist pushes the pendulum across a pin board of magnets and it jerks randomly in constant motion.’
    • ‘Reese grabbed Jameson's arm as Jameson reached behind his back, and in one motion moved behind Jameson and twisted his arm up behind his neck.’
    • ‘That simplifies the process of forward motion quite a bit.’
    • ‘Video data is first processed to separate motion from the fixed background.’
    • ‘It dealt only with a specific type of motion: objects moving at a constant velocity.’
    • ‘In one fluid motion, he had moved from the desk chair to his feet and was now standing at Aidan's side.’
    • ‘You could see the heat rising in waves off the highway and everything seemed to move in slower motion.’
    movement, moving, locomotion, rise and fall, shifting, stirring, to and fro, toing and froing, coming and going
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A gesture.
      ‘she made a motion with her free hand’
      • ‘Mrs. Benson held the storm door firmly shut and smiled saccharinely at the girls while making shooing motions with her free hand.’
      • ‘Would they understand a summoning gesture as ‘come here’ or a pushing-away motion as ‘go away’?’
      • ‘In a delicate motion Maria placed her free hand on Erik's, soaking in the warmth of his skin.’
      • ‘He looked at the horse in disbelief, and then made a shooing motion with his free hand.’
      • ‘I made motions with my hand signaling Elizabeth to keep it down.’
      • ‘In a swift motion, he kissed his wife upon the lips then raced the few feet of ground and jumped over the cliff that overlooked the sea about six hundred feet below.’
      • ‘You've got to be concentrating hard on a mental picture according to the spell you'd like to perform, but most spells also require a hand motion or gesture.’
      • ‘He made a hand motion to indicate that he did not want it.’
      • ‘Gabrielle made a hand motion indicating that they were leaving.’
      • ‘She put down the clipboard she was holding and with a slight motion of her head indicated to her assistant to leave the room.’
      • ‘At this nod, Kyle gave a quick motion to Keira, signaling that she should join them.’
      • ‘The child didn't move or make any motion of understanding.’
      • ‘When Don said this he picked up his table knife and made a thrusting motion with it.’
      • ‘She then whipped around making a thrusting motion with her hands.’
      • ‘Berna made a slow sweeping motion with one arm.’
      • ‘He made a slow slicing motion across his throat, miming her death to a tee.’
      • ‘He made a circular motion with his hand and Phoenix rolled down the window.’
      • ‘I eyed him and he made a motion for me to continue.’
      • ‘He made a motion to Renny to pull out local navigation charts.’
      • ‘He made a motion for me to put the phone down, but I shook my head.’
      gesture, gesticulation, movement, signal, sign, indication
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2count noun A piece of moving mechanism.
      ‘the earliest engines had the Gresley conjugated motion for the middle cylinder’
  • 2A formal proposal put to a legislature or committee.

    ‘opposition parties tabled a no-confidence motion’
    • ‘He would not be able to live down the embarrassment in the event of someone telephoning him, as it was he who proposed the motion at committee to ban mobiles.’
    • ‘He planned to propose a motion to City of York Council, calling on it to back the campaign.’
    • ‘Later on Tuesday, Curley made a motion to defer further consideration of the health budget until his questions could be answered.’
    • ‘The day ended, by the way, with a censure motion being brought against the minister.’
    • ‘At the same meeting Matthew Richardson, a senior Union officer, proposed a motion of no confidence in Rufus.’
    • ‘Mori stated that if the no-confidence motion were passed he would call general elections rather than resign.’
    • ‘Of the executive committee members, 14 supported the no-confidence motion while only three members voted against it.’
    • ‘I start my speech by supporting the no-confidence motion, as advanced by Don Brash on Tuesday.’
    • ‘Cllr Aird had tabled a motion calling on the council to provide additional support to the Tidy Towns committee.’
    • ‘The immigration issues that we have raised in this censure motion do not stop there.’
    • ‘The president's substantial majority in the legislature ensured that any impeachment motion would fail.’
    • ‘More than two-thirds of MSPs who are not part of the Executive signed motions against him entering Britain, making this the adopted view of the parliament.’
    • ‘All five motions have been signed by four of the five councillors elected in the Killarney electoral area in the June 11 poll.’
    • ‘Two-thirds of MSPs have already signed motions against the visa decision but Labour are unlikely to support an SNP motion.’
    • ‘Last year 58 MSPs signed a motion calling for a public debate of the proposals, which is a majority of those eligible to sign motions.’
    • ‘If enough MPs sign the motions, Mr Pike may win a debate on the issue.’
    • ‘Mr Meacher has signed a Commons motion which says MPs should have the opportunity to consider the issue before ministers give the go-ahead to license GM crops.’
    • ‘Opponents include 264 MPs, who signed an earlier motion expressing ‘grave doubts’ about missile defence.’
    • ‘The sense that momentum was building for a poll next year was heightened by the tabling of a Commons motion signed by 32 Labour MPs calling for an early referendum.’
    • ‘More than 100 Labour MPs are threatening to vote against the bill on January 27 and 160 have signed a protest motion over fees.’
    proposal, proposition, submission, recommendation, suggestion
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Law An application for a rule or order of court.
      ‘often the defendant contributes to the length of proceedings by filing many procedural motions’
      • ‘Over the next several years, there were many motions for temporary court orders relating to custody and access.’
      • ‘On March 15, the defense had to file a motion for a court order to force the prosecution to turn over the rest of the evidence.’
      • ‘The Attorney General opposed the motion for substitution on procedural grounds.’
      • ‘Last fall the same Plaintiff brought similar motions before the court.’
      • ‘The plaintiff brought a motion for an order dismissing the action without costs.’
      • ‘The respondent has brought a motion for an order dismissing the application.’
      • ‘Copying the practice of some lower courts, the Supreme Court can refer recusal motions to another Justice or a panel of three Justices.’
      • ‘The law applicable to summary judgment motions is well known.’
      • ‘The motion seeking those orders was dismissed and the applicant then appealed to the Federal Court.’
      • ‘Several of the defendants have brought motions for summary judgment under Rule 20, asking that the plaintiff's claim be dismissed.’
      • ‘Part of his oral motion sought an order that Keller be required to call Jones as his witness.’
      • ‘The California trial court, however, rejected the defense motion to suppress his incriminating statements.’
      • ‘Uhler also delayed ruling on several motions by Robertson's attorneys for dismissal of all charges against him.’
      • ‘It is the breach of that order which entitles the aggrieved party to bring a motion for a contempt order.’
      • ‘But he said he will file a motion for reconsideration before the same court or the Supreme Court.’
      • ‘In granting the plaintiff's motion for an injunction Justice Patel found that Napster was liable.’
      • ‘The plaintiff's motion asks that he be allowed to file an amended statement of claim.’
      • ‘For all of the above reasons, the Applicants' motion for contempt is denied.’
      • ‘Defendants file massive summary judgment motions, seeking to dismiss every claim on various grounds.’
      • ‘Eaton's counsel gave ample warning of his intention to bring the intended summary judgment motion and the reason.’
  • 3British An evacuation of the bowels.

    ‘73% of the patients had fewer than three bowel motions a day’
    ‘her mother put on her nappy for her to pass a motion’
    • ‘We excluded children who had had more than four bowel motions in the 24 hours before admission.’
    • ‘Symptoms include frequent bowel motions, a sense of fullness and often headache and anxiety.’
    • ‘It may also turn your urine very dark; bowel motions become pale.’
    • ‘Do you ever lose control of wind or bowel motions from your back passage between visits to the toilet?’
    • ‘Haemorrhoids are the most common cause of bleeding from the anus; the bleeding usually occurs after passing a bowel motion and will appear on the toilet paper.’
    • ‘If the test shows that there is in fact blood in the bowel motions, the next level of investigation is a colonoscopy, which is normally done by a gastroenterologist or a surgeon.’
    • ‘Basically I try and get people to bulk up their diet, which firms up their bowel motions and therefore reduces the problem of leakage.’
    • ‘So it's either a hygiene problem, or you've got a problem with your bowel motions which is making the skin worse.’
    • ‘It's not serious unless there are other symptoms such as stomach pain or a change in the colour of your bowel motions, in which case it might be related to gall-bladder problems.’
    • ‘Traditionally patients would stay in hospital after surgery until their first postoperative bowel motion.’
    • ‘Patients were often publicly humiliated by loud enquiries about their bowel motions.’
    • ‘Moreover you must ensure that you do not strain to pass a motion.’
    • ‘Eggs and fish often cause problems with bad smells, and fizzy drinks and beer produce excess wind and runny motions.’

verb

[with object]
  • 1Direct or command (someone) with a movement of the hand or head.

    ‘he motioned Dennis to a plush chair’
    with object and infinitive ‘he motioned the young officer to sit down’
    gesture, gesticulate, signal, sign, direct, indicate
    View synonyms
  • 2Propose for discussion and resolution at a meeting or legislative assembly.

    ‘a resolution, motioned by Adam Tyler, proposed that members without a CCL could still belong to the association’
    with clause ‘Councillor Byrne motioned that the committee call on the area manager to install street lighting’

Phrases

    set something in motion
    • 1Start something moving or working.

      ‘the mobile of five clouds is set in motion by a little fan’
      • ‘Once set in motion and free of outside disturbances, the axes of these spinning globes should keep pointing in the same direction.’
      • ‘This setup allows the wheel to be set in motion once the axle starts to turn.’
      • ‘Once set in motion by the Creator they continued by their own inexorable internal logic.’
      • ‘There was a soft sigh and then the sound of creaking as he sat down in the old rocking chair and set it in motion.’
      • ‘Measure the length of the string before setting the pendulum in motion.’
      1. 1.1Start or trigger a process or series of events.
        ‘plunging oil prices set in motion an economic collapse’
        • ‘He dialled 911 and a bizarre series of events was set in motion.’
        • ‘When the bank moves in to foreclose, she decides to double-cross the duo, setting in motion a series of events which spiral out of control.’
        • ‘But then the education minister of the time, Thomas Wells, resigned, setting in motion a series of events that changed everything.’
        • ‘This sets in motion a cascading series of events which ratchet up the tension and speed up the pace; turning a mystery into a thriller.’
        • ‘Their disobedience sets in motion a series of life-changing events that will alter the entire town before it's all over.’
        • ‘For better or for worse, a chain of events has been set in motion by these two that cannot be predicted with any certainty.’
        • ‘The sexual charge between Anna and Dan proves too great however, setting in motion a chain of events which sees these four characters cross paths and rebound in unexpected directions.’
        • ‘For when Ray happened to mention to the doctor that he was hard of hearing, it set in motion a train of events which eventually led to the discovery he was suffering from a brain tumour.’
        • ‘That set in motion a sequence of events that I don't think I want to re-visit anytime soon.’
        • ‘But that court appearance set in motion a chain of events which cost him his job, his home and his wife.’
        • ‘Neville's actions set in motion a chain of events that have become depressingly familiar these days.’
        • ‘Little did Christina know that this would be the day that set in motion a chain of events that would splinter her family.’
        • ‘This move has set in motion what is likely to become the most acrimonious contest in local athletics history.’
        • ‘In June the company missed a quarterly loan payment to its banks, setting in motion the move toward bankruptcy.’
        • ‘To set this in motion it will require a simple club majority of nine votes from 16.’
        • ‘A friend mentioned something last night that has set a series of things in motion.’
    in motion
    • Moving.

      ‘flowing blonde hair that was constantly in motion’
    go through the motions
    • 1Do something in a perfunctory way, without any enthusiasm or commitment.

      ‘no drive, no ambition; the team was just turning up to go through the motions’
      • ‘Although the Department went through the motions of investigating complaints, its commitment to enforcing the corporal punishment regulations was half-hearted at best.’
      • ‘The existential vacuum is the phenemenon which envelops those who go through the motions without feeling any passion or connection to their accomplishments.’
      • ‘It amazes me how often we find ourselves inadvertently going through the motions of achieving things, doing everything we know we're supposed or told to do, but eventually not reaching the finish line, or reaching it a bit too late.’
      • ‘It was an exercise in uncomfortableness - Dr. S., dressed in a painfully tight suit, clutching a juice box, went through the motions of interviewing people he disliked and resented.’
      • ‘She may have gone through the motions and said the words, but really, the more I think about it, the more it seems that she was never really 100% there.’
      • ‘I kept noticing this blank look on her face as if she was just going through the motions… that bored look that just screams, ‘I HATE my job!’’
      • ‘My family, like every other family in America and around the world, sat glued to the television as our leaders went through the motions of returning the murdered President to Washington.’
      • ‘Their presentation itself took about 20 minutes as they went through the motions of explaining all about the central nervous system.’
      • ‘With stars in my eyes, I went through the motions of finishing high school, followed by junior college and then engineering college.’
      • ‘So Paolo landed up in Luanda and went through the motions of being an infantryman.’
    • 2Simulate an action.

      ‘a child goes through the motions of washing up’
      • ‘He went through the motions of pretending to write out a ticket for the benefit of the other full price passengers.’
      • ‘The media initially went through the motions of pretending that this was a real election campaign.’
      • ‘I was going through the motions, faking the emotions, wriggling around like a lizard on a tin.’
      • ‘I'm still going through the motions and pretending that this is a democracy in which my opinions matter.’
      • ‘He would go through the motions, making them believe they controlled him.’
      • ‘Instead of actually using the rope, just pretend and go through the motions.’
      • ‘Unable to stay still under their gaze for any longer, Pete pretended to yawn, and went through the motions of someone waking up.’
      • ‘Try ‘faking’ the swing, just going through the motions casually.’
      • ‘An under-strength squad prepare to take on a leading Test nation and everyone goes through the motions of talking them up, pretending it could be a good contest, looking at the strong points.’
      • ‘Finneran, as well as William Sadler and Diana Scarwid as Jaye's parents, paint a gloomy portrait of a family only going through the motions of caring, more for show than for any actual concern.’
      • ‘It seems the Government is just going through the motions of consultation.’

Origin

Late Middle English via Old French from Latin motio(n-), from movere ‘to move’.

Pronunciation

motion

/ˈməʊʃ(ə)n/