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Meaning of MOTIVE

Pronunciation:  'mowtiv

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [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; "we did not understand his motivation"; "he acted with the best of motives"
  2. [n]  a theme that is elaborated on in a piece of music

MOTIVE is a 6 letter word that starts with M.


 Synonyms: motif, motivation, need
 See Also: ethical motive, ethics, idea, impulse, irrational motive, life, melodic theme, mental energy, morality, morals, musical theme, obbligato, obligato, psychic energy, psychological feature, rational motive, theme, urge



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \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.
    2. That which incites to action; anything prompting or
       exciting to choise, or moving the will; cause; reason;
       inducement; object.
             By motive, I mean the whole of that which moves,
             excites, or invites the mind to volition, whether
             that be one thing singly, or many things
             conjunctively.                        --J. Edwards.
    3. (Mus.) The theme or subject; a leading phrase or passage
       which is reproduced and varied through the course of a
       comor a movement; a short figure, or melodic germ, out of
       which a whole movement is develpoed. See also Leading
       motive, under {Leading}. [Written also {motivo}.]
    4. (Fine Arts) That which produces conception, invention, or
       creation in the mind of the artist in undertaking his
       subject; the guiding or controlling idea manifested in a
       work of art, or any part of one.
    Syn: Incentive; incitement; inducement; reason; spur;
         stimulus; cause.
    Usage: {Motive}, {Inducement}, {Reason}. Motive is the word
           originally used in speaking of that which determines
           the choice. We call it an inducement when it is
           attractive in its nature. We call it a reason when it
           is more immediately addressed to the intellect in the
           form of argument.
  2. \Mo"tive\, a.
    Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as,
    a motive argument; motive power. ``Motive faculty.'' --Bp.
    {Motive power} (Mach.), a natural agent, as water, steam,
       wind, electricity, etc., used to impart motion to
       machinery; a motor; a mover.
  3. \Mo"tive\, v. t.
    To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move.
Thesaurus Terms
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