motive
I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French motif, motive, from motif, adjective, moving, from Medieval Latin motivus, from Latin motus, past participle of movēre to move Date: 15th century 1. something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act 2. a recurrent phrase or figure that is developed through the course of a musical composition 3. motifmotiveless adjectivemotivelessly adverbmotivic adjective Synonyms: motive, impulse, incentive, inducement, spur, goad mean a stimulus to action. motive implies an emotion or desire operating on the will and causing it to act <
a motive for the crime
>
. impulse suggests a driving power arising from personal temperament or constitution <
buying on impulse
>
. incentive applies to an external influence (as an expected reward) inciting to action <
a bonus was offered as an incentive
>
. inducement suggests a motive prompted by the deliberate enticements or allurements of another <
offered a watch as an inducement to subscribe
>
. spur applies to a motive that stimulates the faculties or increases energy or ardor <
fear was a spur to action
>
. goad suggests a motive that keeps one going against one's will or desire <
thought insecurity a goad to worker efficiency
>
. II. adjective Etymology: Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French motif, from Medieval Latin motivus Date: 1502 1. moving or tending to move to action 2. of or relating to motion or the causing of motion <
motive energy
>
III. transitive verb (motived; motiving) Date: circa 1650 motivate

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

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  • motive — mo·tive n [Anglo French motif, from Middle French motif adjective, moving, from Medieval Latin motivus, from Latin motus, past participle of movēre to move]: something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act ◇ In criminal law, motive is …   Law dictionary

  • motivé — motivé, ée adj. Soutenu, stimulé par une motivation. ⇒MOTIVÉ, ÉE, part. passé et adj. I. Part. passé de motiver (v. ce mot I B). Suscité. Il y a bien des actes, de vilains actes motivés par de l argent (GONCOURT, Journal, 1895, p.740). II.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • motive# — motive n 1 Motive, spring, impulse, incentive, inducement, spur, goad all denote a stimulus inciting or prompting a person to act or behave in a definite way. Motive applies chiefly to such an emotion as fear, anger, hatred, or love or to a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Motive — may refer to: Contents 1 Criminal law 2 Creative or artistic work 3 Computing …   Wikipedia

  • Motive — Mo tive, n. [F. motif, LL. motivum, from motivus moving, fr. L. movere, motum, to move. See {Move}.] 1. That which moves; a mover. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. That which incites to action; anything prompting or exciting to choise, or moving… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Motive — Mo tive, a. Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power. Motive faculty. Bp. Wilkins. [1913 Webster] {Motive power} (Mach.), a natural agent, as water, steam, wind, electricity, etc., used to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • motive — [mōt′iv] n. [ME motif < OFr motif (adj.) < ML motivus, moving < L motus, pp. of movere, to MOVE] 1. some inner drive, impulse, intention, etc. that causes a person to do something or act in a certain way; incentive; goal 2. MOTIF (sense… …   English World dictionary

  • Motive — Mo tive, v. t. To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • motive — motive, motivation See interpretation ; psychoanalysis ; sanction, social sanction ; vocabularies of motive …   Dictionary of sociology

  • -motive — [mōt′iv] [< MOTIVE (adj. )] combining form forming adjectives moving, of motion [automotive] …   English World dictionary

  • motivé — motivé, ée (mo ti vé, vée) part. passé de motiver. •   La France est le seul pays où les arrêts ne soient pas motivés, comme c est aussi le seul où l on achète le droit de juger les hommes, VOLT. Lett. Damilaville, 13 juin 1766.    Terme de… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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