Move in

Hi, guys! How are you?

“Move in” seems to be a pretty obvious expression, isn’t it? Well, I’ve recently come across a text which says the following: “At the emperor Hadrian’s command, the army built a great wall across Britain to separate the Roman province from the unconquered Caledonians of Scotland. Legionaries, with their technical know-how, built the wall, and the auxiliaries guarded it. Auxiliaries patrolled from forts along the wall, and the legions moved in whenever there was serious trouble”.

What do you think is implied here by “moved in”? I can think of two options:

  1. “Move in” in the sense of stepping in, intervening or coming closer to a given place or situation. In this case, the legions would move in, that is, intervene and move to the wall in order to help the auxiliaries.

  2. “Move in” in the sense of…entering! In this case, the meaning would be: the legions moved in to protect themselves, that is, they retreated behind the walls.

What do you guys think?

Thanks a lot and congratulations for keeping up this wonderful forum!


The meaning is definitely #1. It basically means they transported themselves en masse to the place where the trouble was, in order to intervene.

We wouldn’t use your #2 meaning in this type of context.