• (RP) IPA: /ˈməʊʃən/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈmoʊʃən/


  1. (uncountable) A state of progression from one place to another.
    Synonyms: movement
    Antonyms: rest
  2. (countable) A change of position with respect to time.
    • This is the great wheel to which the clock owes its motion.
  3. (physics) A change from one place to another.
    Synonyms: move, movement
    Antonyms: rest
    • 1839, Denison Olmsted, A Compendium of Astronomy Page 95
      Secondly, When a body is once in motion it will continue to move forever, unless something stops it. When a ball is struck on the surface of the earth, the friction of the earth and the resistance of the air soon stop its motion.
  4. (countable) A parliamentary action to propose something. A similar procedure in any official or business meeting.
    The motion to amend is now open for discussion.
    • c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.
  5. (obsolete) An entertainment or show, especially a puppet show.
    • 1644, John Milton, Aeropagitica
      when God gave him reason, he gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing; he had bin else a meer artificiall Adam, such an Adam as he is in the motions.
  6. (philosophy) from κίνησις (kinesis); any change. Traditionally of four types: generation and corruption, alteration, augmentation and diminution, and change of place.
    • 1662, Henry More, An Antidote Against Atheism, Book II, A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More, p. 53:
      "I say, it is no uneven jot, to pass from the more faint and obscure examples of Spermatical life to the more considerable effects of general Motion in Minerals, Metalls, and sundry Meteors, whose easie and rude shapes may have no need of any Principle of Life, or Spermatical form distinct from the Rest or Motion of the particles of the Matter."
  7. Movement of the mind, desires, or passions; mental act, or impulse to any action; internal activity.
    • Let a good man obey every good motion rising in his heart, knowing that every such motion proceeds from God.
  8. (law) A formal request, oral or written, made to a judge or court of law to obtain an official court ruling or order for a legal action to be taken by, or on behalf of, the movant.
  9. (euphemistic) A movement of the bowels; the product of such movement.
  10. (music) Change of pitch in successive sounds, whether in the same part or in groups of parts. (Conjunct motion is that by single degrees of the scale. Contrary motion is when parts move in opposite directions. Disjunct motion is motion by skips. Oblique motion is when one part is stationary while another moves. Similar or direct motion is when parts move in the same direction.)
    • 1878, George Grove, A Dictionary of Music and Musicians
      The independent motions of different parts sounding together constitute counterpoint.
  11. (obsolete) A puppet, or puppet show.
    • c. 1613, Thomas Middleton; William Rowley, “Wit at Several Weapons. A Comedy.”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 1, scene 1:
      What motion's this? the model of Nineveh?
  12. (mechanical engineering) A piece of moving mechanism, such as on a steam locomotive.
Translations Translations Translations Verb

motion (motions, present participle motioning; past and past participle motioned)

  1. To gesture indicating a desired movement.
    He motioned for me to come closer.
  2. (proscribed) To introduce a motion in parliamentary procedure.
  3. To make a proposal; to offer plans.
Related terms

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