Definition of movement in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmo͞ovmənt/


1An act of changing physical location or position or of having this changed: a slight movement of the upper body the principle of the free movement of goods between member states
More example sentences
  • It had much to do with physical movement, with running, walking, and limping.
  • There may be a direct link between physical movement and rhythmical expression in music.
  • Optimal results are obtained if the physician and patient minimize movement during the test.
motion, move;
gesture, gesticulation, sign, signal;
action, activity
1.1An arrival or departure of an aircraft.
Example sentences
  • Farnborough last year handled approximately 15, 500 business aircraft movements.
  • The Air Traffic Control element has been busy in Iraq, handling on average more than 400 aircraft movements each day.
  • In addition, there were about 2,000 movements by military aircraft that year.
1.2 (also bowel movement) An act of defecation.
Example sentences
  • If you don't have at least 1 bowel movement per day, you are already walking your way toward disease.
  • The urge came and went a few times until I experienced a more intense cramp that resulted in my first movement of the day.
  • As a general rule, a healthy colon produces two movements a day.
1.3 (movements) The activities and whereabouts of someone, especially during a particular period of time: your movements and telephone conversations are recorded
More example sentences
  • The investigation quite early led us to have concerns about the movements and activities of four men, three of whom came from the West Yorkshire area.
  • There is evidence of mine clearing activities, movements of soldiers, bunkers around buildings and military pillboxes perched on the tops of hills.
  • Players' movements and activities are so closely monitored that it is hard for anyone to approach or speak to the players, leave alone attempt to fix matches.
1.4The general activity or bustle of people or things in a particular place: the scene was almost devoid of movement
More example sentences
  • After breakfast, the Menen is bustling with activity and movement.
  • Without context we end up on a merry-go-round of activity and movement that never seems to get us to where we want to be.
  • The tavern was lively, bustling with movement and much drinking.
1.5The progressive development of a poem or story: the novel shows minimal concern for narrative movement
1.6A change or development in something: movements in the underlying financial markets
More example sentences
  • Also, movement or development through diverse styles of fathering may be more the rule than the exception.
  • In the context of Linux development, such movement of motives is clearly visible.
  • It violated all the tenets of drama - there was no conflict, no movement, no development, no climax.
development, change, fluctuation, variation
trend, tendency, drift, swing
progress, progression, advance
2 [often with modifier] A group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas: the labor movement
More example sentences
  • What's more important right now for the embattled labor movement, politics or organizing?
  • Here in Maine we have done some great steps putting labor and progressive movement groups together.
  • Our political and social liberation movements need to regain the initiative.
political group, party, faction, wing, lobby, camp
2.1 [usually in singular] A campaign undertaken by a group of people working together: a movement to declare war on poverty
More example sentences
  • It should be a source of optimism for us all that even at an early stage of the crisis, there is a substantial opposition movement to war.
  • Yorkshire campaigners behind a national movement to help thyroid sufferers want to set up shop in York.
  • We ended up spending an hour fuming over the new government movement to bring down university student representative groups.
campaign, crusade, drive, push
3 Music A principal division of a longer musical work, self-sufficient in terms of key, tempo, and structure: the slow movement of his violin concerto
More example sentences
  • Shostakovich's slow movements always represent the composer at his most eloquent and deeply personal.
  • Only the bass line and six bars of melody had survived, possibly from the slow movement of a Trio Sonata.
  • The first movement changes views and tempi in what seems like every few bars or so.
part, section, division
4The moving parts of a mechanism, especially a clock or watch.
Example sentences
  • In his 80s he was repairing the finest of watch movements, making electrical and electronic clocks, and rebuilding mechanical ones.
  • Although one finds some identical movements in clocks by a given Roxbury maker, one also finds identical movements in clocks by different Roxbury makers.
  • Meanwhile, clock movements improved in design and manufacture.


Late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin movimentum, from Latin movere 'to move'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: move·ment

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