a prime mover
The person or thing that generates the initial energy or momentum for something to happen. The newly elected congresswoman has been the prime mover in the recent environmental reforms. While there was a confluence of events leading to his removal from office, it was the revelation of his tax evasion that was the prime mover.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Fig. the force that sets something going; someone or something that starts something off. The assistant manager was the prime mover in getting the manager sacked. Discontent with his job was the prime mover in John's deciding to retire early.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The initial source of energy directed toward a goal, someone or something that sets others in motion. For example, Jean was the prime mover in getting us more laboratory space, or Patriotism was the prime mover of the revolution. [Late 1600s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
a prime ˈmovera person or a thing that starts something and has an important influence on its development: The prime mover in setting up the group was ex-lawyer James Stanley. ♢ Economic factors are the prime mover of change.
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