American English

Definition of motion noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable, singular] the act or process of moving or the way something moves Newton's laws of motion The swaying motion of the ship was making me feel seasick. (formal) Do not exit while the train is still in motion (= moving). Rub the cream in with a circular motion. see also slow motion
  2. 2[countable] a particular movement made usually with your hand or your head, especially to communicate something synonym gesture At a single motion of his hand, the room fell silent. She made a sawing motion with her hand.
  3. 3[countable] a formal proposal that is discussed and voted on at a meeting to table/make a motion to propose a motion (= to be the main speaker in favor of a motion) The motion was adopted/carried by six votes to one.
  4. Idioms
    go through the motions (of doing something)
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    to do or say something because you have to, not because you really want to
    set/put something in motion
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    to start something moving They set the machinery in motion. (figurative) The wheels of change have been set in motion.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: motion