Definition of motion in English:

motion

noun

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

    ‘the laws of planetary motion’
    ‘a cushioned shoe that doesn't restrict motion’
    ‘flowing blonde hair that was constantly in motion’
    • ‘Johannes Kepler formulated the laws of planetary motion, but died in relative poverty and obscurity in 1631.’
    • ‘His fight scenes are choreographed with grace and economy of motion - Flint never moves a molecule more than necessary to get the job done.’
    • ‘That simplifies the process of forward motion quite a bit.’
    • ‘Your feet move in a forward circular motion, allowing you to land evenly on your foot.’
    • ‘Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician and astronomer who discovered three key laws that govern planetary motion.’
    • ‘In one fluid motion, he had moved from the desk chair to his feet and was now standing at Aidan's side.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The scientist pushes the pendulum across a pin board of magnets and it jerks randomly in constant motion.’
    • ‘Meanwhile coin tossing is in fact a predictable process following predefined physical laws of motion and isn't really random at all.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It dealt only with a specific type of motion: objects moving at a constant velocity.’
    • ‘Sir Isaac Newton formulated a single law of gravitation based on Kepler's three laws of planetary motion.’
    • ‘You could see the heat rising in waves off the highway and everything seemed to move in slower motion.’
    • ‘Simple circular motion as proscribed by Aristotle did not satisfy the observations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Video data is first processed to separate motion from the fixed background.’
    • ‘Randy comes up and tells him that he is not doing anything special - it's only the law of circular motion.’
    movement, moving, locomotion, rise and fall, shifting, stirring, to and fro, toing and froing, coming and going
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]A gesture.
      ‘she made a motion with her free hand’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She put down the clipboard she was holding and with a slight motion of her head indicated to her assistant to leave the room.’
      • ‘He made a circular motion with his hand and Phoenix rolled down the window.’
      • ‘In a delicate motion Maria placed her free hand on Erik's, soaking in the warmth of his skin.’
      • ‘She then whipped around making a thrusting motion with her hands.’
      • ‘Gabrielle made a hand motion indicating that they were leaving.’
      • ‘At this nod, Kyle gave a quick motion to Keira, signaling that she should join them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Would they understand a summoning gesture as ‘come here’ or a pushing-away motion as ‘go away’?’
      • ‘I eyed him and he made a motion for me to continue.’
      • ‘He made a slow slicing motion across his throat, miming her death to a tee.’
      • ‘He made a hand motion to indicate that he did not want it.’
      • ‘He made a motion to Renny to pull out local navigation charts.’
      • ‘Mrs. Benson held the storm door firmly shut and smiled saccharinely at the girls while making shooing motions with her free hand.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He made a motion for me to put the phone down, but I shook my head.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Berna made a slow sweeping motion with one arm.’
    2. 1.2[count 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’
    • ‘The day ended, by the way, with a censure motion being brought against the minister.’
    • ‘More than 100 Labour MPs are threatening to vote against the bill on January 27 and 160 have signed a protest motion over fees.’
    • ‘Two-thirds of MSPs have already signed motions against the visa decision but Labour are unlikely to support an SNP motion.’
    • ‘Opponents include 264 MPs, who signed an earlier motion expressing ‘grave doubts’ about missile defence.’
    • ‘Cllr Aird had tabled a motion calling on the council to provide additional support to the Tidy Towns committee.’
    • ‘Of the executive committee members, 14 supported the no-confidence motion while only three members voted against it.’
    • ‘At the same meeting Matthew Richardson, a senior Union officer, proposed a motion of no confidence in Rufus.’
    • ‘If enough MPs sign the motions, Mr Pike may win a debate on the issue.’
    • ‘He planned to propose a motion to City of York Council, calling on it to back the campaign.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Later on Tuesday, Curley made a motion to defer further consideration of the health budget until his questions could be answered.’
    • ‘I start my speech by supporting the no-confidence motion, as advanced by Don Brash on Tuesday.’
    • ‘All five motions have been signed by four of the five councillors elected in the Killarney electoral area in the June 11 poll.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mori stated that if the no-confidence motion were passed he would call general elections rather than resign.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘The law applicable to summary judgment motions is well known.’
      • ‘But he said he will file a motion for reconsideration before the same court or the Supreme Court.’
      • ‘Uhler also delayed ruling on several motions by Robertson's attorneys for dismissal of all charges against him.’
      • ‘The plaintiff brought a motion for an order dismissing the action without costs.’
      • ‘Copying the practice of some lower courts, the Supreme Court can refer recusal motions to another Justice or a panel of three Justices.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Defendants file massive summary judgment motions, seeking to dismiss every claim on various grounds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For all of the above reasons, the Applicants' motion for contempt is denied.’
      • ‘Last fall the same Plaintiff brought similar motions before the court.’
      • ‘The plaintiff's motion asks that he be allowed to file an amended statement of claim.’
      • ‘In granting the plaintiff's motion for an injunction Justice Patel found that Napster was liable.’
      • ‘Eaton's counsel gave ample warning of his intention to bring the intended summary judgment motion and the reason.’
      • ‘Over the next several years, there were many motions for temporary court orders relating to custody and access.’
      • ‘Part of his oral motion sought an order that Keller be required to call Jones as his witness.’
      • ‘The Attorney General opposed the motion for substitution on procedural grounds.’
      • ‘It is the breach of that order which entitles the aggrieved party to bring a motion for a contempt order.’
      • ‘The respondent has brought a motion for an order dismissing the application.’
      • ‘The California trial court, however, rejected the defense motion to suppress his incriminating statements.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Patients were often publicly humiliated by loud enquiries about their bowel motions.’
    • ‘Do you ever lose control of wind or bowel motions from your back passage between visits to the toilet?’
    • ‘Eggs and fish often cause problems with bad smells, and fizzy drinks and beer produce excess wind and runny motions.’
    • ‘It may also turn your urine very dark; bowel motions become pale.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Basically I try and get people to bulk up their diet, which firms up their bowel motions and therefore reduces the problem of leakage.’
    • ‘Symptoms include frequent bowel motions, a sense of fullness and often headache and anxiety.’
    • ‘So it's either a hygiene problem, or you've got a problem with your bowel motions which is making the skin worse.’
    • ‘Traditionally patients would stay in hospital after surgery until their first postoperative bowel motion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moreover you must ensure that you do not strain to pass a motion.’

verb

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

    ‘he motions her towards the lift’
    [with object and infinitive] ‘he motioned the young officer to sit down’
    • ‘After ten minutes the driver stopped and motioned us all to be quiet.’
    • ‘A friend of Delia's, Ben Lewis, spots us and waves madly, motioning us to sit down with him.’
    • ‘He smiled and noticed that Forrester was motioning him to leave the office.’
    • ‘He motions me to a shiny chrome door which opens to reveal a small gymnasium with a panoramic view of the Thames.’
    • ‘Walking up the stairs in her business suit, she motions for me to hurry up.’
    • ‘Then he walked into the dining hall, seated himself and motioned the waiter over.’
    • ‘Jake turns his head and smiles at me before he motions for me to come closer.’
    • ‘I turned around to find Pip, who motioned me to come and look at something.’
    • ‘A woman sitting by the desk motions him to go into another room.’
    • ‘He waves and motions for us to join him on the dance floor.’
    • ‘When she see her father she breaks into a run, but he motions her to stop.’
    • ‘If you enter a colleague's office and you find him on the phone, step right outside again unless he motions you to come in.’
    • ‘She motions me to a side room, containing more exotic products and a fridge.’
    • ‘He's from the old school, motioning you ahead of him through doorways with a graceful wave of his expressive hands.’
    • ‘It's like retracing the footsteps of a killer, as our tour guide motions us forward.’
    • ‘He merely shrugged then motioned a waitress over and ordered himself a beer.’
    • ‘The young officer guided the man in custody to a chair and motioned him to sit down.’
    • ‘My thoughts were interrupted by a gentleman motioning me to sit down in his chair.’
    • ‘No doubt he had our best interests at heart as he motioned us towards the downward-bound funicular.’
    • ‘Tessa turned to look up at Jake, who rolled his eyes before motioning the girls to join him a few feet away.’
    • ‘A man walking down the hall toward us stops and motions me to follow him.’
    • ‘Mom put her index finger to her mouth, motioning me to stay quiet.’
    • ‘She acknowledged my return with a wave, motioning me to sit down at my desk.’
    gesture, gesticulate, signal, sign, direct, indicate
    wave, beckon, nod
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • go through the motions

    • 1Do something perfunctorily, without any enthusiasm or commitment.

      ‘no drive, no ambition; the team was just turning up to go through the motions’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although the Department went through the motions of investigating complaints, its commitment to enforcing the corporal punishment regulations was half-hearted at best.’
      • ‘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!’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So Paolo landed up in Luanda and went through the motions of being an infantryman.’
      • ‘With stars in my eyes, I went through the motions of finishing high school, followed by junior college and then engineering college.’
      • ‘Their presentation itself took about 20 minutes as they went through the motions of explaining all about the central nervous system.’
      pretend, put on an act, put it on, play-act, make believe, fake it
      View synonyms
    • 2Simulate an action.

      ‘a child goes through the motions of washing up’
      • ‘It seems the Government is just going through the motions of consultation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The media initially went through the motions of pretending that this was a real election campaign.’
      • ‘Unable to stay still under their gaze for any longer, Pete pretended to yawn, and went through the motions of someone waking up.’
      • ‘He would go through the motions, making them believe they controlled him.’
      • ‘He went through the motions of pretending to write out a ticket for the benefit of the other full price passengers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Instead of actually using the rope, just pretend and go through the motions.’
      • ‘Try ‘faking’ the swing, just going through the motions casually.’
      • ‘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.’
  • set in motion

    • 1Start something moving or working.

      ‘the mobile of five clouds is set in motion by a little fan’
      • ‘This setup allows the wheel to be set in motion once the axle starts to turn.’
      • ‘Measure the length of the string before setting the pendulum in motion.’
      • ‘Once set in motion and free of outside disturbances, the axes of these spinning globes should keep pointing in the same direction.’
      • ‘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.’
      propel, drive, drive forwards, move forwards, move, actuate, set in motion, get going, get moving
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Start or trigger a process or series of events.
        ‘plunging oil prices set in motion an economic collapse’
        • ‘In June the company missed a quarterly loan payment to its banks, setting in motion the move toward bankruptcy.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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 that court appearance set in motion a chain of events which cost him his job, his home and his wife.’
        • ‘This move has set in motion what is likely to become the most acrimonious contest in local athletics history.’
        • ‘But then the education minister of the time, Thomas Wells, resigned, setting in motion a series of events that changed everything.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Little did Christina know that this would be the day that set in motion a chain of events that would splinter her family.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘For better or for worse, a chain of events has been set in motion by these two that cannot be predicted with any certainty.’
        • ‘Neville's actions set in motion a chain of events that have become depressingly familiar these days.’
        • ‘Their disobedience sets in motion a series of life-changing events that will alter the entire town before it's all over.’
        • ‘That set in motion a sequence of events that I don't think I want to re-visit anytime soon.’
        start, begin, activate, institute, initiate, launch, get under way, get going, get in operation, get functioning, get working, get off the ground, get the ball rolling, set the ball rolling, start the ball rolling
        trigger off, set off, spark off, generate, cause, bring about
        commence
        View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

motion

/ˈməʊʃ(ə)n/