Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Something, such as a machine or an engine, that produces or imparts motion.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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).
  • adj. Causing or producing motion: motor power.
  • adj. Driven by or having a motor.
  • adj. Of or for motors or motor vehicles: motor oil.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or designating nerves that carry impulses from the nerve centers to the muscles.
  • adj. Involving or relating to movements of the muscles: motor coordination; a motor reflex.
  • intransitive v. To drive or travel in a motor vehicle.
  • transitive v. To carry by motor vehicle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A machine or device that converts any form of energy into mechanical energy, or imparts motion.
  • n. A motor car, or automobile.
  • n. A source of power for something, an inspiration, a driving force.
  • adj. describing neurons that create the ability to move
  • v. To drive around leisurely in a motorised vehicle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Causing or setting up motion; pertaining to organs of motion; -- applied especially in physiology to those nerves or nerve fibers which only convey impressions from a nerve center to muscles, thereby causing motion.
  • n. One who, or that which, imparts motion; a source of mechanical power.
  • n. A prime mover; a machine by means of which a source of power, as steam, moving water, electricity, etc., is made available for doing mechanical work.
  • n. A motor car; an automobile.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who or that which imparts motion; a source or originator of mechanical power; a moving power, as water, steam, etc.
  • n. Specifically
  • n. In mathematics, an operator or a quantity which represents the displacement of a rigid body.
  • n. In machinery, a prime mover; a contrivance for developing and applying mechanically some natural force, as heat, pressure, weight, the tide, or the wind; a machine which transforms the energy of water, steam, or electricity into mechanical energy: as, an electric motor. See machine, 2.
  • n. In anatomy, specifically, a motor nerve.
  • Giving motion; imparting motion.
  • In physiology, conveying from the center toward the periphery an impulse that results or tends to result in motion, as a nerve: opposed to sensory.
  • Of or pertaining to or acting through the motor nerves or tracts.
  • n. A motor-car.
  • n. In anatomy, specifically, a motor nerve.
  • n. An alternating-current motor in which the wattless current is compensated by a condenser or by auxiliary commutator-brushes; a compensated repulsion-motor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a nonspecific agent that imparts motion
  • v. travel or be transported in a vehicle
  • n. machine that converts other forms of energy into mechanical energy and so imparts motion
  • adj. conveying information to the muscles from the CNS
  • adj. causing or able to cause motion

Etymologies

Middle English motour, prime mover, from Latin mōtor, from mōtus, past participle of movēre, to move.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin moto ("I set in motion"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • These two gyri, together with the paracentral lobule, were long regarded as constituting the “motor areas” of the hemisphere; but Sherrington and Grunbaum have shown128 that in the chimpanzee the motor area never extends on to the free face of the posterior central gyrus, but occupies the entire length of the anterior central gyrus, and in most cases the greater part or the whole of its width.

    IX. Neurology. 4c. The Fore-brain or Prosencephalon

  • It is evident, from these facts, that the fibers composing the posterior bundles of nerve-roots only transmit sensory impulses, and the filaments composing the anterior nerve-roots only transmit motor impulses; accordingly, they are termed respectively the _sensory_ and the _motor_ nerve-roots.

    The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English or, Medicine Simplified, 54th ed., One Million, Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand

  • Dissenting Justice Harold Melton pointed out that in the state's "chop shop" law, the term motor vehicle includes any devices "which are self-propelled but which are not designed for use upon a highway, including, but not limited to, farm machinery and construction equipment."

    ajc.com - News

  • The 95 indicates that this motor is the 95th, and last, in its series of engines.

    Wild Ride

  • An internal-combustion engine has to build horsepower, whereas an electric motor has the maximum horsepower almost instantly; as long as the power to the motor is already there. —

    Tesla Motors Zaps Another C.E.O. and Lays Off Staff - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

  • How do you explain what a motor is and make that person understand?

    2007 May « The Paradigm Shift

  • And it's like I said, it starts to get a little bit close to some of what we call the motor centers.

    CNN Transcript May 20, 2008

  • I knew all of them, especially one of the naval airmen who flies what he calls a motor-bus and drops bombs with sea curses upon the heads of any German troops he can find on a morning's reconnaissance.

    The Soul of the War

  • Sure, forklift is -- what we call motor fuel is primarily forklift business and that's where we see the biggest shortfall and a lot of our customers there are, they are freight companies.

    pfblogs.org: The Ad-Free Personal Finance Blogs Aggregator

  • BIEHLER 13: 02: 54 It's 100\% state funded out of what we call the motor license fund.

    WFMZ-TV 69NEWS: Top Stories

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