Meaning of “motion” in the English Dictionary

"motion" in British English

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motionnoun

uk /ˈməʊ.ʃən/ us /ˈmoʊ.ʃən/

motion noun (MOVEMENT)

C2 [ C or U ] the act or process of moving, or a particular action or movement:

The violent motion of the ship upset his stomach.
He rocked the cradle with a gentle backwards and forwards motion.
They showed the goal again in slow motion (= at a slower speed so that the action could be more clearly seen).

[ C ] UK a polite way of referring to the process of getting rid of solid waste from the body, or the waste itself:

The nurse asked if her motions were regular.

More examples

  • Onstage she is a human dynamo, spending the hour in perpetual motion.
  • He gloved the ball, turned, and threw in one motion.
  • The motion of the car almost lulled her to sleep.
  • The spaceship's jets were fired periodically to dampen a side-to-side pendulum motion that had developed.
  • I thought a phone call to the right person might set the wheels in motion.

motion noun (SUGGESTION)

C2 [ C ] a formal suggestion made, discussed, and voted on at a meeting:

[ + to infinitive ] Someone proposed a motion to increase the membership fee to $500 a year.
The motion was accepted/passed/defeated/rejected.

More examples

  • Delegates have voted in favour of the motion.
  • Anyone wishing to dissent from the motion should now raise their hand.
  • Those voting for the motion, 96, and those voting against, 54.
  • The motion for tonight's debate is, "This house believes that capital punishment should be abolished."
  • He proposed a motion that the chairman resign.

motionverb [ I or T, usually + adv/prep ]

uk /ˈməʊ.ʃən/ us /ˈmoʊ.ʃən/

(Definition of “motion” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"motion" in American English

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motionnoun

us /ˈmoʊ·ʃən/

motion noun (MOVEMENT)

[ C/U ] the act or process of moving, or a particular movement:

[ U ] His range of motion was exactly equal on both sides.
[ C ] She moved her finger in a circular motion.

motion noun (FORMAL REQUEST)

[ C ] a formal request, usually one made, discussed, and voted on at a meeting:

[ + to infinitive ] Someone made a motion to increase the membership fee.

[ C ] A motion is also a request made to a judge in court for something to happen.

in motion

Something in motion is moving or operating or has started:

The alarm rang and suddenly everyone was in motion.
The governor’s request set in motion the process for receiving federal funds.

motionverb [ always + adv/prep ]

us /ˈmoʊ·ʃən/

motion verb [ always + adv/prep ] (SIGNAL)

to make a signal to someone, usually with your hand or head:

[ T ] He motioned me to sit down.
[ I ] I saw him motion to the man at the door.

(Definition of “motion” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"motion" in Business English

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motionnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈməʊʃən/ us MEETINGS

a formal suggestion made, discussed, and voted on at a meeting:

introduce/make/propose a motion They will propose a motion to move the vote to the evening of June 9.
approve/carry/pass a motion The group unanimously passed a motion endorsing the designs.
defeat/reject a motion
put forward/table/adopt a motion

(Definition of “motion” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)