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motive power

noun
1.
any power used to impart motion; any source of mechanical energy.
2.
Railroads. locomotives or other vehicles that supply tractive power.
Origin of motive power
1615-1625
1615-25
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for motive-power
Historical Examples
  • The greatest complexity in the world attends the motive-power of any action.

    The Portion of Labor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • The ideal of the rose was the motive-power of the whole process.

    The Heart of Nature Francis Younghusband
  • The motive-power is obtained by the generation and expansion, by heat, of carbonic acid gas.

  • He saw her object, but could not guess the motive-power behind.

    The Californians Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton
  • From such a motive-power as this can come no parade of results.

    The Underground Railroad William Still
  • None will be allowed to negotiate the locks under its own motive-power.

    The Panama Canal J. Saxon Mills
  • What a lot of motive-power is wasted by those who jolly other people along.

  • It has abundance of sunshine as a motive-power of growth, and abundance of air from which to extract the carbon that it needs.

  • It was erected in a day when the railroad was just graduating from the use of teams of horses as motive-power.

    The Modern Railroad Edward Hungerford
  • Her freight was all human, Nature was her mistress, and the love of Nature her inspiration and motive-power.

British Dictionary definitions for motive-power

motive power

noun
1.
any source of energy used to produce motion
2.
the means of supplying power to an engine, vehicle, etc
3.
any driving force
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Value for motive

11
13
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