motion


motion
motion n Motion, movement, move, locomotion, stir mean the act or an instance of moving.
Motion is the appropriate term in abstract use for the act or process of moving, without regard to what moves or is moved; in philosophical and aesthetic use it is an especially comprehensive term, for it may apply to manifestation of change or of changing not only from place to place, but from condition to condition, or from step to step in a progression
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the laws of motion

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this vicissitude of motion and rest, which we call life— Steele

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in all the arts the principle of motion prevails increasingly over the principle of repose— Babbitt

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movement is always to be preferred to inaction. In motion a man has a chance, his body is warm, his instincts are quick— Mailer

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Ordinarily, however, the term implies discernible physical moving
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the motion of the planets

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I was lying... injured, and incapable of motionHudson

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the restless motion of the sea

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every step and every motion in the old dances had meaning— Reginald & Gladys Laubin

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Movement usually implies definite regulated motion; the term is used less often than motion to denote an abstraction, although it may be extended to denote a quality of representation in a work of art that suggests motion
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movement is one of the most striking characteristics of the Elgin marbles and of the Winged Victory

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the new freedom and variety in the movements of the Apostles in the boat ... are proofs of Giotto's rare power of invention— Fry

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or a quality in literary work (as poetry) that suggests a definite rate of speed or progression (as in the meter, the rhythm, or the action)
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no one will so well render Homer's swift- flowing movement as he who has himself something of the swift-moving spirit of Homer— Arnold

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In concrete use movement implies a passage, whether self-initiated or under guidance or compulsion, from place to place, from situation to situation, or from condition to condition; it may, in this sense, be used interchangeably with motion in the collective singular or in the plural
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the movements of the planets

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the restless movement of the sea

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the movement of troops to the front was then in progress

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severe storms hindered the movement of trucks carrying supplies

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large regions in which, though earth movement has occurred rather recently, this has scarcely anywhere dislocated the land surface—C. A. Cotton

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there may be a complex double rhythm of annual movement; sowing in the north, extensive migration south in later winter, return for the harvest—PP. B. Fisher

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Movement also is frequently used for an instance of moving
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a movement among the ferns attracted Adrian— Meredith

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every movement of the bird was watched by the cat

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Move is particularly likely to denote a beginning of a movement
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so shocked that no one made a move to leave

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or to apply to a definite instance of moving or moving something from one place to another
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make a move in a chess game

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The word may stress the notion of change and then is particularly applicable to a changing of one's abode
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planning a move to a new farm

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or to a physical or figurative moving to attain an end or objective
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viewed as a move to encourage . . . organized labor's full participation— Current Biog.

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the Turks would not be frightened into submission by any Russian move—Collier's Yr. Bk.

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Locomotion usually suggests travel especially by artificial means (as by boat, train, airplane, or automobile)
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every improvement of the means of locomotion benefits mankind morally and intellectually— Macaulay

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but it may apply to natural means (as wings or legs)
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pseudopodia and cilia are primitive organs of locomotion

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Stir applies to a motion or movement, often without an implication of changes of place or condition or of progress, that involves a not necessarily displeasing disturbance especially of what has been quiet or at rest or free from excitement, bustle, or agitation
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not a stir of child or mouse— Stevenson

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many persons find stir, and movement, and the presence of a crowd an agreeable stimulus— Benson

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it is an age of stir and change— Galsworthy

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Analogous words: impetus, momentum, *speed, velocity, pace, headway

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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