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From Anglo-Norman motion, mocion, Middle French motion, and their source, Latin motio (movement, motion).



motion (countable and uncountable, plural motions)

  1. (uncountable) A state of progression from one place to another.
  2. (countable) A change of position with respect to time.
    • Dr. H. More
      This is the great wheel to which the clock owes its motion.
  3. (physics) A change from one place to another.
    • 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.
    The motion to amend is now open for discussion.
    • Shakespeare
      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; 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.
    • South
      Let a good man obey every good motion rising in his heart, knowing that every such motion proceeds from God.
  8. (law) An application made to a court or judge orally in open court. Its object is to obtain an order or rule directing some act to be done in favor of the applicant.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Mozley & W. to this entry?)
  9. (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.)
    • Grove
      The independent motions of different parts sounding together constitute counterpoint.
  10. (obsolete) A puppet, or puppet show.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      What motion's this? the model of Nineveh?


  • (state of progression from one place to another): movement


Derived termsEdit



motion (third-person singular simple present motions, present participle motioning, simple 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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Usage notesEdit

The parliamentary sense is incorrectly used by people who are not familiar with parliamentary procedure. They might say "I motion that such-and-such"—however, it would be correct to say "I move that such-and-such".

Related termsEdit



From French motion, from Latin mōtio (movement), from movēre (to move).


  • IPA(key): /mosjoːn/, [moˈɕoːˀn]


motion c (singular definite motionen, not used in plural form)

  1. exercise (physical activity intended to improve strength and fitness)

External linksEdit



From Latin motio, noun of action from perfect passive participle motus, having been moved, from verb movere, move, + noun of action suffix -io



motion f (plural motions)

  1. motion (4)
    Il s'agit d'une motion de censure.



EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page as described here.


motion f (plural motions)

  1. motion




motion c

  1. exercise (physical activity)
  2. a motion[1] (proposal from a member of parliament)


Related termsEdit

  • motionär
  • motionsidrott
  • motionsrunda


  1. ^ Government terms, Government Offices of Sweden
Last modified on 16 April 2014, at 22:50