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[moh-ter-ist] /ˈmoʊ tər ɪst/
a person who drives or travels in a privately owned automobile.
Origin of motorist
1895-1900; motor + -ist
Related forms
nonmotorist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for motorist
  • In one, a motorist and cyclist came to blows after the motorist berated the pedal-pusher for ignoring a stop sign.
  • The enraged cyclist used his bike to batter the motorist's car until a bystander punched him.
  • Cars will then be virtually autonomous, able to drive themselves without the motorist's intervention.
  • The app can help pinpoint a stranded motorist's location.
  • The motorist glides on air and shock absorbers, but his speed undoes him.
  • motorist and pedestrian safety, crash information, crash facts and safety education.
  • If the motorist does not slow down, the camera radar will be triggered.
  • It is important to note that this emphasis on responder safety also improves motorist safety.
  • Following too closely behind another motorist, or tailgating, is an aggressive driving behavior.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage applies to bodily injury only.
British Dictionary definitions for motorist


a driver of a car, esp when considered as a car-owner
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 Origin and History for motorist

"motor-car driver," 1896, from motor- + -ist. Earlier as a name for electric railway drivers (1889). Other early alternatives included motorneer.

"Motorer" we have given our reasons for rejecting, and there only remains "motorist" or a compound like "motor-man" or "motor-driver." Mr. C.P.G. Scott, the etymologist of the Century Dictionary, strongly favors "motor-man" or "motor-driver," though he would not object to "motorist" and prefers it above any other single word. ["Electric Power," October 1889]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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