Definition of movement in English:



  • 1An act of moving.

    ‘a slight movement of the body’
    [mass noun] ‘the free movement of labour’
    • ‘Slight movements of hands or feet among the audience are tell-tale signs that the listeners' attention has been lost.’
    • ‘So what do their expressions, hand gestures, body movements and speech say about what they're really thinking and feeling?’
    • ‘According to one model the forward movement is driven randomly by thermal energy.’
    • ‘He's getting much better late movement on his fastball and slider.’
    • ‘Whether she is right in urging sharp, jerky movements in gymnastics is debatable.’
    • ‘The ball is lifted from the ground by means of a cue furnished with an iron ring at one end, and propelled or thrown forward by a simple movement of the arm.’
    • ‘I support the free movement of capital but not the free movement of labour.’
    • ‘I noticed her slight body movements to approach her shoulder bag.’
    • ‘I was shaking while I took deep breaths trying to control every movement of my body.’
    • ‘The road was bumpy, as if sending her heart into jerky movements too.’
    • ‘In the first act, the dancers' movements are slow, calculated.’
    • ‘Henry hesitantly stepped towards the gray horse, which made no movements except a slight turn of its head.’
    • ‘The free movement of capital and labour have to be politically defined and legally regulated.’
    • ‘And media consultants can track the eye movements of people who are watching TV commercials.’
    • ‘All the effort she had went into a few simple movements: turning her head, reaching out her arm, and yet she still felt completely exhausted afterwards.’
    • ‘Their footsteps and body movements create an epic sight and sound emanating from the stage.’
    • ‘And in the slightest of movements, she kissed him back.’
    • ‘His sudden, jerky movements caused the vampire to fall off of him.’
    • ‘Claire put her hands on his chest and they kissed, the movement making her body fall full against his.’
    • ‘Again include exercises that mimic the movements associated with skiing.’
    motion, move, manoeuvre
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    1. 1.1An arrival or departure of an aircraft.
      ‘the Civil Aviation Authority directed 125,000 aircraft movements in 1991’
      • ‘British Airways, by far the biggest operator at the airport with 15,015 aircraft movements, saw only 67 per cent of its services depart on time.’
      • ‘Farnborough last year handled approximately 15, 500 business aircraft movements.’
      • ‘The government has banned all aircraft movements over central London until further notice.’
      • ‘The airfield is limited to 7,000 civil movements per year and is frequently used for flights by Britain's royal family.’
      • ‘If there is severe low pressure out in the Atlantic, aircraft movements are diverted away from the affected area.’
      • ‘His contribution extended from the distribution of food and medicine to the command and control of aircraft movement.’
      • ‘Total aircraft movements at Phuket airport fell 25 percent in the first nine months of the year.’
      • ‘There are currently some 1,200 aircraft movements per day through the area.’
      • ‘The Department of Conservation has taken a tough stance on noise pollution at Milford, and is proposing to dramatically limit the number of aircraft movements within the area.’
      • ‘Sigint's main predictive capability goes back to the Cold War, when it was used to detect unexpected troop or aircraft movements.’
      • ‘Overall corporate aircraft movements have increased by more than 250 percent since 1995.’
      • ‘There are an average of 100 aircraft movements a day.’
      • ‘The Air Traffic Control element has been busy in Iraq, handling on average more than 400 aircraft movements each day.’
      • ‘Before the war, Le Bourget welcomed 70,000 aircraft movements per year.’
      • ‘In addition, there were about 2,000 movements by military aircraft that year.’
      • ‘There are reports that the city's airport is barely coping with more than 150 aircraft movements a day.’
      • ‘As well as handling helicopter movements, they temporarily provided control services for the military tarmac to try to get as many aircraft into the small airfield as possible.’
      • ‘As a matter of fact, nothing was paved and a cloud of dust followed the movement of every aircraft.’
      • ‘The number of aircraft movements over the same two-month period rose 12 per cent from about 11,000 to just over 12,000.’
      • ‘Aircraft movements increased by 47.5 per cent to 144,751 for the first six months.’
    2. 1.2The activities and whereabouts of someone during a particular period of time.
      ‘your movements and telephone conversations are recorded’
      • ‘Players' movements and activities are so closely monitored that it is hard for anyone to approach or speak to the players, leave alone attempt to fix matches.’
      • ‘The trade winds affect the movements and activities of Torres islanders in various important ways.’
      • ‘It imposed a blanket ban on the publication of any information relating to her whereabouts, appearance and movements in light of ‘clear evidence’ of threats to her life.’
      • ‘Exert a strict control on the movements and activities made by the mentioned organisations.’
      • ‘Talks are under way to let the Scottish Prison Service access and contribute information to a powerful intelligence database on the movements and activities of the country's criminals.’
      • ‘Not only are our activities and movements controlled, but now our very facial expressions have been deemed dangerous.’
      • ‘The talks revolve around whether to grant them refugee status and over how to restrict their movements and activities in Europe.’
      • ‘The Chief Superintendent urged everyone in Glasgow to notify the police about the movements of party activists over the coming week.’
      • ‘Her reaction upon reading of his alleged mayhem was to chart his movements over the period of days in question.’
      • ‘Parents will track the movements and activities of their children.’
      • ‘Handlers passed documents and photographs to their agents operating within paramilitary groups detailing targets' movements and the whereabouts of their homes.’
      • ‘It's incredible but they are not only freer in how they dress, but also in their activities and movements.’
      • ‘In 1983, further restrictions were placed on the movements and activities of foreign journalists.’
      • ‘There is evidence of mine clearing activities, movements of soldiers, bunkers around buildings and military pillboxes perched on the tops of hills.’
      • ‘The investigation quite early led us to have concerns about the movements and activities of four men, three of whom came from the West Yorkshire area.’
      • ‘Recent NY Times piece about the use of cell phones and other wireless devices to track people's movements and whereabouts.’
      • ‘Mapping provided us with written snapshots of the movements and activities of drug users throughout the community in time and space.’
      • ‘We disarm them, we restrain them, we closely monitor and control their movements and activities.’
      • ‘I added that I could also envision a scenario in which the government might ask us to curtail our movements for a given period of time.’
      • ‘But having said that, I was fascinated by this very detailed rundown of his movements and whereabouts on the day of the attacks.’
    3. 1.3[mass noun]General activity or bustle.
      ‘the scene was almost devoid of movement’
      • ‘The tavern was lively, bustling with movement and much drinking.’
      • ‘After breakfast, the Menen is bustling with activity and movement.’
      • ‘By day the main paved road seems to buzz with the constant activity and movement of people, vehicles and livestock.’
      • ‘Without context we end up on a merry-go-round of activity and movement that never seems to get us to where we want to be.’
      • ‘The large city bustled with movement, and it seemed everyone was in a hurry to get on with their lives.’
      • ‘It was so creepy not seeing anyone at the airport, which is usually bustling with movement at this time.’
      • ‘After what felt like an eternity there was a sudden burst of movement and frantic activity as the car sped around the corner and back into the car park.’
      motion, move, manoeuvre
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  • 2[often with modifier] A group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas.

    [as modifier] ‘the labour movement’
    • ‘The formerly autonomous labor union movement has now essentially been coopted.’
    • ‘* Why is the upliftment of the trade union movement in developing countries often such a painfully slow process?’
    • ‘The critical question remains the building of a mass socialist movement of the working class.’
    • ‘Our political and social liberation movements need to regain the initiative.’
    • ‘The capitalist system is capable of extreme violence even when the workers' movement is not challenging it.’
    • ‘Both reject the possibility of developing an independent revolutionary socialist movement, based on this class.’
    • ‘What's more important right now for the embattled labor movement, politics or organizing?’
    • ‘Zarqawi leads a social movement of several hundred persons, if he exists at all.’
    • ‘King's civil rights movement had begun to challenge the deep racism in the South in the mid-1950s.’
    • ‘I'm trying to build a progressive political reform movement.’
    • ‘We want a dynamic, well-organised, well-connected international movement against imperialist globalisation.’
    • ‘The cause of gender equality was advanced by the women's movement of the 1960s.’
    • ‘The marchers join a swelling youth protest movement as many face a bleak future.’
    • ‘Action is needed throughout the labour and trade union movement in this country.’
    • ‘For 35 years, he has sustained one of the most effective citizen's movements in our history.’
    • ‘We in the movements against globalisation and imperialist war are those 'other people'.’
    • ‘Here in Maine we have done some great steps putting labor and progressive movement groups together.’
    • ‘Salgado considers himself part of the anti-globalisation protest movement and believes that people misunderstand migrants.’
    • ‘Initially youths joined the separatist movement out of altruistic reasons to save their group identity from being eclipsed.’
    • ‘The women's liberation movement challenged both the structure of Australian society and women's roles and personal relationships.’
    political group, party, faction, organization, grouping, wing, front, lobby, camp
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    1. 2.1A campaign undertaken by a political, social, or artistic movement.
      ‘a movement to declare war on poverty’
      • ‘We ended up spending an hour fuming over the new government movement to bring down university student representative groups.’
      • ‘That sense of vulnerability inspired a social and political reform movement.’
      • ‘So we must begin globalizing a nonviolent movement to end the poisoning of Mother Earth.’
      • ‘In the end King Birendra resisted the hard line and conceded before the massive peoples' movement for democracy.’
      • ‘Internationalism is at the heart of the anti-capitalist, anti-war movement.’
      • ‘Yet some have called for a consumer movement to tell the operators ‘enough is enough’.’
      • ‘Her arrest helped spark the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, and she became a household name.’
      • ‘He doesn't hand in his badge and join the movement for change; he robs a bank.’
      • ‘What is remarkable about workers' movements throughout history is how peaceful they have been.’
      • ‘They are the most likely to lead any movement for change.’
      • ‘Secondly, the movement against corporate globalisation has changed the language of politics.’
      • ‘Yorkshire campaigners behind a national movement to help thyroid sufferers want to set up shop in York.’
      • ‘There is a movement afoot to release movies to both theaters and DVD at the same time.’
      • ‘And he's spearheading a mental ecology movement to do something about it.’
      • ‘The nude peace protest movement continues to gain momentum.’
      • ‘The movement against war must unite workers of all nations against the common enemy.’
      • ‘It should be a source of optimism for us all that even at an early stage of the crisis, there is a substantial opposition movement to war.’
      • ‘We will continue to build the anti-war movement against US imperialism.’
      • ‘Maxi, you've consistently supported the movement against the war.’
      • ‘This week, residents begin their own Minuteman movement to rid their city of illegal alien workers.’
      campaign, crusade, drive, push
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    2. 2.2A change or development.
      ‘the movement towards greater sexual equality’
      ‘movements in the underlying financial markets’
      • ‘But the language and movement of the poem also emphasize that if the speaker is on a journey, his destination is quite unknown.’
      • ‘There was a general sense of movement toward waking now.’
      • ‘Characters in a story operate to make the story's movement visible and concrete, in a way that engages a reader's interest.’
      development, change, fluctuation, rise, fall, variation
      trend, tendency, drift, swing, current, course
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  • 3Music
    A principal division of a longer musical work, self-sufficient in terms of key, tempo, and structure.

    ‘the slow movement of his violin concerto’
    • ‘The rapturous love music of the first movement is worthy of Wagner or Strauss.’
    • ‘Only the bass line and six bars of melody had survived, possibly from the slow movement of a Trio Sonata.’
    • ‘The first movement changes views and tempi in what seems like every few bars or so.’
    • ‘Shostakovich's slow movements always represent the composer at his most eloquent and deeply personal.’
    • ‘Bruch's violin concerto was on, and it took me the entire first movement to assemble the thing.’
    part, section, division, passage
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  • 4The moving parts of a mechanism, especially a clock or watch.

    ‘we restore antique clock movements’
    • ‘Meanwhile, clock movements improved in design and manufacture.’
    • ‘Although one finds some identical movements in clocks by a given Roxbury maker, one also finds identical movements in clocks by different Roxbury makers.’
    • ‘Mechanical watch movements require cleaning and lubricating once in 3-5 years.’
    • ‘In his 80s he was repairing the finest of watch movements, making electrical and electronic clocks, and rebuilding mechanical ones.’
    • ‘Watch movements should not be handled by anyone who is not prepared to repair it or pay a trained professional to find and fix the problem.’
    mechanism, machinery, works, workings, action, wheels, motion
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  • 5An act of defecation.

    • ‘If you don't have at least 1 bowel movement per day, you are already walking your way toward disease.’
    • ‘As a general rule, a healthy colon produces two movements a day.’
    • ‘The urge came and went a few times until I experienced a more intense cramp that resulted in my first movement of the day.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin movimentum, from Latin movere to move.