put/set something in motion

put (something) in motion

To act to cause something to begin. The senator from New Hampshire put the legislation in motion. We've been planning the details for months, but it's ultimately up to the boss to put the project in motion.
See also: motion, put

set something in motion

to start something moving. The mayor set the project in motion by digging the first shovelful of soil. I cannot set the procedure in motion until I receive a purchase order.
See also: motion, set

set in motion

Start something moving, give impetus to something, as in A press conference set the new project in motion. It is also put as set the wheels in motion, as in Let's set the wheels in motion for the new library wing. This idiom dates from about 1800. It was preceded by put in motion, which dates from the mid-1600s.
See also: motion, set

put/set something in ˈmotion

(also set the wheels in ˈmotion) do what is necessary to make a start on a project, plan, meeting, etc: The Government wants to put the new reforms in motion before the election.It will be many years before we see any results, but at least we know that the wheels are in motion.
This expression refers to starting a large and complicated piece of machinery.
See also: motion, put, set, something

set in motion

To give impetus to: The indictment set the judicial process in motion.
See also: motion, set