1. Changing or capable of changing position: a moving target.
2. Relating to or involved in a transfer of furnishings from one location to another: moving expenses; moving van.
3. Causing or producing motion.
4. Involving a motor vehicle in motion: a moving violation.
5. Arousing or capable of arousing deep emotion: a moving account of the tragedy.
Synonyms: moving, stirring, poignant, touching, affecting
These adjectives mean arousing or capable of arousing deep, usually somber emotion. Moving is the least specific: "A ... widow ... has laid her case of destitution before him, in a very moving letter" (Nathaniel Hawthorne).
Something stirring excites strong, turbulent, but not unpleasant feelings: a stirring speech about patriotism. Poignant suggests the evocation of keen, painful emotion: "The happier our new relations seemed, the stronger I felt an undercurrent of poignant sadness" (Vladimir Nabokov).
Touching emphasizes sympathy or tenderness: a touching eulogy. Affecting applies especially to what is heart-rending or bittersweet: We found the photo of the hostages' release to be deeply affecting.
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.