Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Without a motive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitute of a motive; not incited by a motive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having no motive or aim; objectless.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. occurring without motivation or provocation

Etymologies

motive +‎ -less (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Indiscriminate killings in East Rand townships continued over the weekend, with 17 more people losing their lives since Saturday in what yet another police report described as motiveless and faceless violence.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • A man was seriously ill in hospital after being stabbed in a "motiveless" group attack.

    icWestlothian

  • A motiveless crime is that step nearer to being a perfect crime.

    On Cinema’s Violence « Tales from the Reading Room

  • No, it was a pointless, motiveless assault by teenagers with brains in neutral.

    Archive 2009-09-01

  • Jennifer Garner is Laura Pickler, the Tea Party-style candidate and a ruthless dragon with an apparently motiveless lust for power and a distaste for what she perceives as the victim vote that's thwarting her: "I'm sorry I was born tall and white and pretty and I haven't sat in front of the TV eating pork rind and soiling myself."

    Butter – review

  • Hideous, jarring Luther, filled with phlegmy death rattles, seeping brains, and motiveless daylight butcherings carried out by psychopaths "just for the lulz".

    Grace Dent's TV OD: Luther and Falling Skies

  • And what is this motiveless swiping about, given that all he ever does is chuck the object away leaving Dora to go and pick it up?

    Sam Leith on Dora the Explorer

  • This is, the troubled police investigator recognizes, "a motiveless crime," an act that speaks to a larger rejection of society.

    Tales of Jaunty Anarchy on the Nile

  • The rickety underpinnings of his philosophy are constantly being exposed in "Proud Beggars"—there's nothing loftily motiveless about the murder, after all, since it is triggered by drug addiction, and Gohar's claim that one more death is nothing in light of the world's "immense charade" seems like the most banal sort of special pleading.

    Tales of Jaunty Anarchy on the Nile

  • The action itself is often brutal and motiveless under the chivalric glitz and Christianised sheen: it includes murder, incest, rape (in two instances by a woman), madness (Sir Lancelot's, caused by said rape), mutilation (the swordfight in Monty Python's film version was no exaggeration) and massacre.

    The Death of King Arthur by Peter Ackroyd – review

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