v. moved, mov·ing, moves
a. To change in position from one point to another: moved away from the window.
b. To follow a specified course: Earth moves around the sun.
c. To change posture or position; stir: too scared to move.
d. To start off; depart: After waiting for an hour, we decided it was time to move.
e. Games To change position on a board in a board game.
f. To go from one residence or location to another; relocate: We moved to a new apartment.
g. Linguistics To be copied or moved by means of a movement transformation to a new position in syntactic structure.
a. To progress in sequence; go forward: a novel that moves slowly.
b. To progress toward a particular state or condition: moving up in the company; move on to a new subject.
3. To be disposed of by sale: Woolens move slowly in the summer.
4. To be put in motion or to turn according to a prescribed motion. Used of machinery.
a. To exhibit great activity or energy: Things were really moving backstage.
b. To initiate an action; act: It's time to make a decision and move.
c. To be active in a particular environment: moves in diplomatic circles.
6. To stir the emotions: words that have the power to move.
7. To make a formal motion in parliamentary procedure: move for an adjournment.
8. To evacuate. Used of the bowels.
a. To change the place or position of: moved the chair into the corner; could not move his arm.
b. To cause to go from one place to another: moved the crowd away.
c. Games To change (a piece) from one position to another in a board game: moved a pawn.
a. To change the course of: moved the discussion to other matters.
b. To cause to progress or advance: moved the research into new thinking.
a. To dislodge from a fixed point of view, as by persuasion: "Speak to him, ladies, see if you can move him" (Shakespeare).
b. To prompt to action; rouse: Anger moved her to speak out.
c. To arouse the emotions of; affect or stir.
a. To cause to function: This lever moves the elevator.
b. To cause to progress or advance: moved the project beyond conventional thinking.
a. To propose or request in formal parliamentary procedure: moved that a vote be taken.
b. To make formal application to (a court, for example).
6. To dispose of by sale: moved the new merchandise quickly.
7. To cause (the bowels) to evacuate.
a. The act or an instance of moving.
b. A particular manner of moving: made some intricate moves on the dance floor.
2. A change of residence or location.
a. An act of transferring a piece from one position to another in board games.
b. The prescribed manner in which a piece may be played.
c. A participant's turn to make a play.
4. An action taken to achieve an objective; a maneuver: a move to halt the arms race.
To begin to occupy a residence or place of business.
To shift one's attention or emotions to other matters, often as part of recovering from a setback or difficulty: After he was laid off, he moved on and started looking for another job.
get a move on Informal
To get started; get going.
move in on
1. To make intrusive advances toward; intrude on.
2. To attempt to seize control of: moving in on their territory.
on the move
1. Busily moving about; active: A nurse is on the move all day.
2. Going from one place to another: troops on the move.
3. Making progress; advancing: a technology that is clearly on the move.
[Middle English moven, from Old French movoir, from Latin movēre; see meuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: move, affect1, touch
These verbs mean to stir the emotions of a person or group. Move suggests a strong or deep emotional impact that is often expressed openly: a performer who moved the audience to laughter and tears; scenes of famine that moved us to pity. Affect can suggest a quieter but more persistent emotional state, as of grief, awe, or sorrow: "Roosevelt was deeply affected by his loss. One by one, the President's closest companions had fallen away" (Geoffrey C. Ward).
Touch implies a personal and often inspirational experience, as of sympathy, admiration, or tenderness: "Mr. Micawber pressed my hand, and groaned, and afterwards shed tears. I was greatly touched" (Charles Dickens).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.