Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Something, such as a machine or an engine, that produces or imparts motion.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A motor vehicle, especially an automobile.
  • adjective Causing or producing motion.
  • adjective Driven by or having a motor.
  • adjective Of or for motors or motor vehicles.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or designating nerves that carry impulses from the nerve centers to the muscles.
  • adjective Involving or relating to movements of the muscles.
  • intransitive verb To drive or travel in a motor vehicle.
  • intransitive verb To carry by motor vehicle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who or that which imparts motion; a source or originator of mechanical power; a moving power, as water, steam, etc.
  • noun Specifically
  • noun In mathematics, an operator or a quantity which represents the displacement of a rigid body.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A motor-car.
  • noun In anatomy, specifically, a motor nerve.
  • noun An alternating-current motor in which the wattless current is compensated by a condenser or by auxiliary commutator-brushes; a compensated repulsion-motor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective 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.
  • noun One who, or that which, imparts motion; a source of mechanical power.
  • noun (Mach.) 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.
  • noun archiac Colloq. A motor car; an automobile.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English motour, prime mover, from Latin mōtor, from mōtus, past participle of movēre, to move; see meuə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin moto ("I set in motion").

Examples

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