Definition of movement in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmuːvm(ə)nt/


1An act of moving: a slight movement of the body [mass noun]: the free movement of labour
More example sentences
  • I support the free movement of capital but not the free movement of labour.
  • I noticed her slight body movements to approach her shoulder bag.
  • And in the slightest of movements, she kissed him back.
1.1An arrival or departure of an aircraft: the Civil Aviation Authority directed 125,000 aircraft movements in 1991
More 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 (movements) The activities and whereabouts of someone 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.
1.3 [mass noun] General activity or bustle: 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.
2 [often with modifier] A group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas: the labour 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, organization, grouping, wing, front, lobby, camp;
2.1A campaign undertaken by a political, social, or artistic movement: 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
2.2A change or development: the movement towards greater sexual equality movements in the underlying financial markets
More example sentences
  • Characters in a story operate to make the story's movement visible and concrete, in a way that engages a reader's interest.
  • But the language and movement of the poem also emphasize that if the speaker is on a journey, his destination is quite unknown.
  • There was a general sense of movement toward waking now.
development, change, fluctuation, rise, fall, variation
trend, tendency, drift, swing, current, course
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, passage
4The moving parts of a mechanism, especially a clock or watch: we restore antique clock movements
More 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.
mechanism, machinery, works, workings, action, wheels, motion
informal innards, guts
5 (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.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: move|ment

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