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motor

Syllabification: mo·tor
Pronunciation: /ˈmōdər
 
/

Definition of motor in English:

noun

1A machine, especially one powered by electricity or internal combustion, that supplies motive power for a vehicle or for some other device with moving parts.
Example sentences
  • The steam engine had symbolized the First Industrial Revolution and the electric motor and internal combustion engine the Second.
  • Electricity powers the electric motor, which in turn propels the vehicle.
  • Instead of an engine, a stack of fuel cells and an electric motor will supply power - but you won't even see them.
1.1A source of power, energy, or motive force: hormones are the motor of the sexual functions
More example sentences
  • For example, the force generation by molecular motors has been studied as well as the mechanical properties of biopolymers.
  • Molecular motors generate force and motion by continually binding and breaking down energy-releasing molecules at a rate of about 100 molecules per second.
  • Atomic force microscopy and optical traps are used to probe cellular and subcellular forces, such as those of kinesin motors.

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
1Giving, imparting, or producing motion or action: demand is the principle motor force governing economic activity
More example sentences
  • It's being driven by the fact that creativity has become the economic motor force.
  • Germany is accustomed to thinking of itself as the motor force of European recovery rather than what it has become in recent times.
  • But the working class still exists and it will be the motor force of the transformation of society.
1.1 Physiology Relating to muscular movement or the nerves activating it: the motor functions of each hand
More example sentences
  • In the muscular dystrophies pharyngeal motor function is usually only moderately affected.
  • Her higher functions, cranial nerve examination, and motor and sensory examinations were all within normal limits.
  • Generally, the left side of the brain controls the motor movements of the right side of the body, and vice versa.
2chiefly British Driven by a motor.
Example sentences
  • When the business expanded with the move to a larger premises in Leinster Street, his mode of transport changed and a motor van was provided.
  • He has a 1915 steam roller and a 1935 motor roller of his own, which he takes to the summer shows.
  • During the summer months the harbourmaster is responsible for more than 2000 moorings and has to deal with hundreds of day-sailors, big yachts and motor cruisers from all over Europe.
2.1Of or relating to motor vehicles: a dominant figure in the world of motor sports
More example sentences
  • He eventually moved to the Daily Herald, where he made his name as a motoring and motor sports commentator, and later worked for the BBC.
  • Many older drivers resent the high cost of motor insurance - especially if they have never had an accident and do not use their cars very much.
  • The most expensive components of motoring are: financing the car, motor insurance and car tax.

verb

[no object] informal Back to top  
1Travel in a motor vehicle, typically a car or a boat: we motored along a narrow road we motored out of Breton Bay to begin our return trip down the Potomac
More example sentences
  • Here I find myself writing to the Richmond News again, first about the fires on the dyke and now about motorists motoring through red lights at pedestrian walks.
  • If I remember rightly, she did eventually go on to pass her test, and is now motoring around quite happily.
  • Looking like fugitives from a bankrupt circus, the platoon slowly motored down a narrow muddy road to rejoin Charlie Company.
1.1Run or move as fast as possible: he had motored along to second base on a passed ball
More example sentences
  • How was I supposed to know that his little legs could motor so fast?
  • Armstrong followed his move a split second later, motoring around the others and up behind Beloki as if he were being winched out of a ditch.
  • Silver Star really motored from half way and she got up to take second place two lengths behind the winner and it was a similar distance back to Moonbeam in third.

Origin

late Middle English (denoting a person who imparts motion): from Latin, literally 'mover', based on movere 'to move'. The current sense of the noun dates from the mid 19th century.

More
  • In early use a motor was a person who imparted motion. It derives from a Latin word meaning ‘mover’, based on movere ‘to move’. The current sense of the noun dates from the mid 19th century.

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