One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The original source of motion or action; the cause, instigator, prime mover.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Lodge (1558–1625), author and physician. From post-classical Latin primus motor, lit. ‘first mover’ from classical Latin prīmus + mōtor.
primus motor/ˌpriːməs ˈməʊtɔː//ˌprʌɪməs ˈməʊtə/
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