Meaning of “move” in the English Dictionary

"move" in British English

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uk /muːv/ us /muːv/


A2 [ I or T ] to (cause to) change position:

I'm so cold I can't move my fingers.
Will you help me move this table to the back room?
Can we move (= change the time of) the meeting from 2 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. ?
Don't move! Stay right where you are.
I thought I could hear someone moving about/around upstairs.
If you move along/over/up (= go further to the side, back, or front) a little, Tess can sit next to me.
Police officers at the scene of the accident were asking people to move along/on (= to go to a different place).
Come on, it's time we were moving (= time for us to leave).
Let's stay here tonight, then move on (= continue our journey) tomorrow morning.

[ I or T ] to change the position of one of the pieces used in a board game:

In chess, the pieces can only move in certain directions.

More examples

  • You can move the cursor either by using the mouse or by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.
  • I didn't want to move in case I woke her up.
  • In the summer, the shepherds move their sheep up into the hills .
  • Could I possibly ask you to move your chair a little?
  • The poor things were kept in small cages without room to move.

move verb (CHANGE PLACE)

B1 [ I ] to go to a different place to live or work:

We're moving to Paris.
They've bought a new house, but it will need a lot of work before they can move into it/move in.
I hear Paula has moved in with her boyfriend (= gone to live in his house).
The couple next door moved away (= went to live somewhere else) last year.
A lot of businesses are moving out of London because it's too expensive.
move house B1 UK

to leave your home in order to live in a new one:

We're moving house next week.

More examples

  • When we retire, we're going to move to a warmer climate .
  • We would dearly love to sell our flat and move to the country.
  • They decided to move abroad and make a fresh start.
  • Now that the children are settled at school , we don't really want to move again.
  • After nine years in Cambridge, Susannah and Guy moved to Watlington, where they lived happily ever after.

move verb (PROGRESS)

[ I or T ] to (cause to) progress, change, or happen in a particular way or direction:

The judge's decision will allow the case to move forward.
If you want to move ahead in your career, you'll have to work harder.
Share prices moved up/down slowly yesterday.
Sophie has been moved up/down a grade at school.
It's time this company moved into (= started to take advantage of the benefits of) the digital age.

More examples

  • I don't really like working on a computer, but you have to move with the times, I suppose.
  • Traffic moved forward at a crawl.
  • The company has moved into plastics.
  • The procession moved through the streets at a steady pace.
  • By lap 26, Hamilton had moved into second position.

move verb (BE WITH PEOPLE)

[ I + adv/prep ] to spend time with people:

She moves in/among a very small circle of people.


uk /muːv/ us /muːv/


C2 [ S ] an act of moving:

She held the gun to his head and said, "One move and you're dead!"
I hate the way my boss watches my every move (= watches everything I do).

[ C ] in some board games, a change of the position of one of the pieces used to play the game, or a change of position that is allowed by the rules, or a player's turn to move their piece:

It takes a long time to learn all the moves in chess.
It's your move.

More examples

  • She sat back for a minute to ponder her next move in the game.
  • My cactus seems to be benefiting from its move from the living room to the kitchen windowsill.
  • The cattle have had a move from the top field down into the meadow, I see.
  • "Where have the reference books gone?" "Oh - they've had a move. They're by the door now."
  • Agassi's move to the net was perfectly timed, and he is rewarded with two match points.

move noun (CHANGE OF PLACE)

C1 [ C ] an occasion when you go to live or work in a different place:

We've had four moves in three years.

More examples

  • They helped us with our move to Norwich.
  • We have had three office moves in five years.
  • The move to Scotland was a big wrench for the children.
  • The film follows one family's move to Spain.

move noun (ACTION)

C1 [ C ] an action taken to achieve something:

Buying those shares was a good move.
This move towards improving childcare facilities has been widely welcomed.
[ + to infinitive ] The city council is making a move to improve traffic flow in the city.
make the first move

to be the first to take action:

Neither side seems prepared to make the first move towards reaching a peace agreement.

informal to start a romantic or sexual relationship with someone:

She's liked him for a long time, but doesn't want to make the first move.

More examples

  • It was a shrewd move to buy your house just before property prices started to rise.
  • Quitting that job was the smartest move I ever made.
  • The newspaper made the bold move of publishing the names of the men involved.
  • "The children are getting rather bored, so shall we take them to the park?" "Yes, I think that would be a good move."
  • It was a brave move to stand up and question the boss's figures, but you certainly made him notice you!

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

"move" in Business English

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uk /muːv/ us

[ I or T ] to go to a different place in order to live or work, or to make someone do this:

The company announced it would be moving staff from Houston to Dallas early next year.
move to/into a place I got a promotion last year that meant moving to Brussels.
For many years the trend has been for people to move from rural to urban areas.

[ I or T ] if a store, office, factory, etc. moves, or if someone moves it, it becomes situated in another place:

move to/from a place The bank's headquarters have now moved to Amsterdam.
move offices/headquarters/operations Airline operations are in the process of being moved to Terminal 2.

[ I or T ] to change the job that you do, or to make someone do this:

If you're not happy working in your current team, we can move you.
move sb to sth After only six months at the firm, he was moved to sales.
move to/from/into sth She wants to move into corporate finance.

[ I ] to take action or make progress:

One financial analyst said the court decision could prompt the company to move / more quickly on the issue.
move ahead/forward/away from sth The state is moving ahead with legislation reforms for small businesses.

[ I or T ] COMMERCE if a product moves, or if a store, company, etc. moves it, it sells quickly:

Our latest range of Internet TVs is really moving.

formal MEETINGS to officially suggest something during a meeting:

move that I move that we adopt the resolution.


uk /muːv/ us

[ C ] action that a person or organization takes in order to achieve something:

a move to do sth Moves to block free access to music on the Internet have met with limited success.
a move by sb/sth Economists said a move by Japan to cut interest rates in isolation would have little effect on currency levels.
make a move (to do sth) Moves are being made to help future doctors make objective decisions.
first/next/latest move Our next move will crucially depend on the latest figures for inflation.
a bold/strategic/dramatic move Strategic moves announced with the interim results should strengthen the balance sheet and improve cash flow.
a move comes/follows The company's move comes as part of a wider industry crackdown on insurance fraud.
applaud/approve/condemn a move Investors are expected to applaud the move.

[ S ] the process of changing from one system, activity, etc. to another:

a move to/into sth Environmentalists have welcomed the move to congestion charging.
a move (away) from sth We have incorporated several new concepts in recent months, including a move from commission-only staff to a team bonus structure.

[ C ] the process of changing the place where you live or work, or trading in a new place:

a move from/to/into a place The move into Italy is part of a wider international expansion.

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

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