- The definition of motive is causing action.
An example of motive used as an adjective is the phrase a "motive idea" which means an idea that inspires someone to act.
- Motive is defined as a reason for doing something.
An example of a motive is the reason for committing a crime.
- some inner drive, impulse, intention, etc. that causes a person to do something or act in a certain way; incentive; goal
- motif (sense )
Origin of motiveMiddle English motif from Old French motif (adj.) from Medieval Latin motivus, moving from Classical Latin motus, past participle of movere, to move
- of, causing, or tending to cause motion
- Archaic of, or having the nature of, a motive or motives
Origin of motiveML motivus
transitive verb-·tived, -·tiv·ing
Origin of -motivefrom motive (adjective)
- An emotion, desire, physiological need, or similar impulse that acts as an incitement to action.
- A motif in art, literature, or music.
- Causing or able to cause motion: motive power.
- Causing an action: motive pleas.
Origin of motiveMiddle English motif, motive from Old French motif from Late Latin mōtīvus of motion from Latin mōtus past participle of movēre to move ; see meuə- in Indo-European roots.
- An incentive to act in a particular way; a reason or emotion that makes one want to do something; anything that prompts a choice of action. [from 15th c.]
- (law) Something which causes someone to want to commit a crime; a reason for criminal behaviour. [from 18th c.]
- What would his motive be for burning down the cottage?
- No-one could understand why she had hidden the shovel; her motives were obscure at best.
- (architecture, fine arts) A motif. [from 19th c.]
- (music) A motif; a theme or subject, especially one that is central to the work or often repeated. [from 19th c.]
- If you listen carefully, you can hear the flutes mimicking the cello motive.
(third-person singular simple present motives, present participle motiving, simple past and past participle motived)
- Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power.
- Relating to motion and/or to its cause