1. Something, such as a machine or an engine, that produces or imparts motion.
2. A device that converts any form of energy into mechanical energy, especially an internal-combustion engine or an arrangement of coils and magnets that converts electric current into mechanical power.
3. A motor vehicle, especially an automobile: "It was a night of lovers. All along the highway ... motors were parked and dim figures were clasped in revery" (Sinclair Lewis).
1. Causing or producing motion: motor power.
2. Driven by or having a motor.
3. Of or for motors or motor vehicles: motor oil.
4. Of, relating to, or designating nerves that carry impulses from the nerve centers to the muscles.
5. Involving or relating to movements of the muscles: motor coordination; a motor reflex.
v. mo·tored, mo·tor·ing, mo·tors
To drive or travel in a motor vehicle.
To carry by motor vehicle.
[Middle English motour, prime mover, from Latin mōtor, from mōtus, past participle of movēre, to move; see meuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.