Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Perpet’ual Motion.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Perpet’ual Motion.
Restlessness; fidgety or nervous disquiet; also a chimerical scheme wholly impracticable. Many have tried to invent a machine that shall move of itself, and never stop; but, as all materials must suffer from wear and tear, it is evident that such an invention is impossible.   1
        “It were better to be eaten to death with rust, than to be scoured to nothing with perpetual motion.”—Shakespeare: 2 Henry IV., i. 2.



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