late 14c., "that moves," present-participle adjective from move (v.). From 1650s as "that causes motion;" 1590s as "that touches the feelings." Moving picture in the cinematographic sense is by 1896 (earlier in reference to the zoetrope, 1709). Moving Day is by 1832, American English; traditionally in New York city it was May 1. Moving target (1833) is from gunnery.