Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of motivating.
  • n. The state of being motivated.
  • n. Something that motivates; an inducement or incentive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Willingness of action especially in behavior
  • n. The action of motivating.
  • n. Something which motivates.
  • n. An incentive or reason for doing something.
  • n. a research rating that measures how the rational and emotional elements of a commercial affect consumer intention to consider, visit, or buy something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or process of motivating.
  • n. The mental process that arouses an organism to action.
  • n. The goal or mental image of a goal that creates a motivation{2}.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or manner of motivating; the act or process of furnishing with an incentive or inducement to action.

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

  • n. the condition of being motivated
  • n. the act of motivating; providing incentive
  • n. the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior

Etymologies

motive, from the Latin verb moveō ("(I) move"), + -ation (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • My main motivation is to learn the language of my husband so I can speak into his heart in his own language (we usually speak to each other in our second language – English - and it can be frustrating sometimes because of the misunderstandings) and since we are planning to start a family soon, we want our children to be trilingual too.

    livre d'or - French Word-A-Day

  • I'm still unsure about this one; it could turn out really cool, or an absolute disaster ... my main motivation is that i don't wanna spend money on a haircut. decisions, decisions purchase any of the following: Kindle, iPod Touch, or MacBook

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • Their main motivation is self-protection, second target shooting.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Changes in the Gun Culture over the last 25 years

  • Alsop explained: "For me, the main motivation is to get beyond the image of Beethoven as this disembodied bust, to give people insight into this man who lives upstairs or next door, who writes this incredible music, but is such a tortured soul."

    CSI: Beethoven from Baltimore Symphony

  • I think an honest observer has to conclude the Brights's main motivation is their fear and loathing of the idea of a personal God, especially the one of Judeo-Christian vintage.

    Bleeping Bleepers

  • Their main motivation is fear, so the certainty of getting their butt kicked is a strong motivator to behave.

    Think Progress » Frist and Torture: What Did He Know and When Did He Know It?

  • His main motivation is to be a great teammate and to win.

    USATODAY.com - Number cruncher

  • While she mostly works with high school students who are motivated by grades, my motivation is to be able to talk to the plumber, roofer, and my neighbors.

    Best Tips for Learning French - French Word-A-Day

  • Also, Clint and Morgan begin their journey in the film as the result of a prostitute's being cut up, and their motivation is at least somewhat informed by a sense of righting the wrong done to her ... a sense of compassion.

    How Far is Too Far?

  • The funny thing is, his motivation is absolutely no different than any other politician.

    Poll of polls: Obama losing ground

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