motiveless, adj.motivelessly, adv.motivelessness, n.
/moh"tiv/, n., adj., v., motived, motiving.
1. something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive.
2. the goal or object of a person's actions: Her motive was revenge.
3. (in art, literature, and music) a motif.
4. causing, or tending to cause, motion.
5. pertaining to motion.
6. prompting to action.
7. constituting a motive or motives.
8. to motivate.
[1325-75; (adj.) ME ( < MF motif) < ML motivus serving to move, equiv. to L mot(us) (ptp. of movere to MOVE) + -ivus -IVE; (n.) ME ( < MF motif) < ML motivum, n. use of neut. of motivus]
Syn. 1. motivation, incitement, stimulus, spur; influence, occasion, ground, cause. MOTIVE, INCENTIVE, INDUCEMENT apply to whatever moves one to action. MOTIVE is, literally, something that moves a person; an INDUCEMENT, something that leads a person on; an INCENTIVE, something that inspires a person. MOTIVE is applied mainly to an inner urge that moves or prompts a person to action, though it may also apply to a contemplated result, the desire for which moves the person: His motive was a wish to be helpful.
INDUCEMENT is never applied to an inner urge, and seldom to a goal: The pleasure of wielding authority may be an inducement to get ahead. It is used mainly of opportunities offered by the acceptance of certain conditions, whether these are offered by a second person or by the factors of the situation: The salary offered me was a great inducement. INCENTIVE was once used of anything inspiring or stimulating the emotions or imagination: incentives to piety; it has retained of this its emotional connotations, but (rather like INDUCEMENT) is today applied only to something offered as a reward, and offered particularly to stimulate competitive activity: to create incentives for higher achievement. 2. See reason.

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      in music, a leading phrase or figure that is reproduced and varied through the course of a composition or movement. See melody.

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Universalium. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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-e-s — Motivé e s Motivé e s est un mouvement politique français de gauche créé à Toulouse, à l initiative notamment de membres du groupe de musique Zebda. Réalisant un score de 12,49 % aux élections municipales de mars 2001 à Toulouse après une… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Motivé-e-s — est un mouvement politique français de gauche créé à Toulouse, à l initiative notamment de membres du groupe de musique Zebda. Réalisant un score de 12,49 % aux élections municipales de mars 2001 à Toulouse après une campagne médiatisée et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • 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

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