mid-15c., "controller, prime mover," from Latin motor, literally "mover," agent noun from past participle stem of movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away"). From 15c. as "controller, prime mover" (in reference to God); sense of "agent or force that produces mechanical motion" is first recorded 1660s; that of "machine that supplies motive power" is from 1856. First record of slang motor-mouth "fast-talking person" is from 1970.
1896, from motor (n.). Related: Motored; motoring.