go through the motions

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Related to go through the motions: follow suit, defer to, in its entirety, holding up, picking on


1. The act or process of changing position or place.
2. A meaningful or expressive change in the position of the body or a part of the body; a gesture.
3. Active operation: set the plan in motion.
4. The ability or power to move: lost motion in his arm.
5. The manner in which the body moves, as in walking.
6. A prompting from within; an impulse or inclination: resigned of her own motion.
7. Music Melodic ascent and descent of pitch.
8. Law An application made to a court for an order or a ruling.
9. A formal proposal put to the vote under parliamentary procedures.
a. A mechanical device or piece of machinery that moves or causes motion; a mechanism.
b. The movement or action of such a device.
v. mo·tioned, mo·tion·ing, mo·tions
1. To direct by making a gesture: motioned us to our seats.
2. To indicate by making a gesture; signal: motioned that he was ready.
3. To make a motion (that something should happen).
To signal by making a gesture: motioned to her to enter.
go through the motions
To do something in a mechanical manner indicative of a lack of interest or involvement.

[Middle English mocioun, from Old French motion, from Latin mōtiō, mōtiōn-, from mōtus, past participle of movēre, to move; see meuə- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.go through the motions - pretend to do something by acting as if one was really doing it; "She isn't really working--she's just going through the motions"
make believe, pretend, make - represent fictitiously, as in a play, or pretend to be or act like; "She makes like an actress"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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