• WordNet 3.6
    • adj motive impelling to action "it may well be that ethical language has primarily a motivative function"- Arthur Pap","motive pleas","motivating arguments"
    • adj motive causing or able to cause motion "a motive force","motive power","motor energy"
    • n motive 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"
    • n motive a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration
    • n motive a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Gerald Ford was the only President to have two women attempt to assassinate him. Both attempts were in California in September of 1975. The first attempt was September 6, 1975, by Lynette Fromme who thought she could impress Charles Manson by killing the President. The next attempt was by Sara Jane Moore on September 22, 1975. Her motive was simply that she was bored. John Tyler, joined the Confederacy twenty years later and became the only President named a sworn enemy of the United States.
    • a Motive Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power. "Motive faculty."
    • Motive That which incites to action; anything prompting or exciting to choise, or moving the will; cause; reason; inducement; object; motivation{2}. "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."
    • Motive That which moves; a mover.
    • Motive (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.
    • Motive (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.
    • v. t Motive To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • motive Causing motion; having power to move some one or something; tending to produce motion.
    • motive Moving or impelling force in a figurative sense.
    • motive That which moves, as a locomotive; in railroading, the locomotives collectively of a railroad: as, the super-intendent of the motive power.
    • n motive A mental state or force which induces an act of volition; a determining impulse: specifically, a desire for something; a gratification contemplated as the final cause of a certain action of the one desiring it. The term motive is also loosely applied to the object desired. The noun motive, in this sense, was brought into general use by writers influenced by Hobbes (though he uses the adjective only), who held that men's actions are always governed by the strongest motive, and denied the freedom of the will. “It is now, however, in common literary and conversational use, apart from any theory.
    • n motive The design or object one has in any action; intention; purpose; the ideal object of desire.
    • n motive One who or that which is the cause of something; an originator.
    • n motive Movement.
    • n motive Prevailing design. Specifically
    • n motive Motion; proposition.
    • n motive Synonyms Motive, Reason, Inducement, Incentive, Impulse, consideration, prompting, stimulus. The differences among the first five of these words are suggested by the derivations. A motive is that which moves one to act, addressing the will, as though directly, and determining the choice; it is the common philosophical term, and may be collective: as, the whole field of motive. A reason is that which addresses the rational nature by way of argument for either belief or choice. An inducement leads one on by his desire for good: as, to hold out an additional inducement. An incentive urges one on like martial music. An impulse drives one on, but is transitory.
    • motive To act on as a motive, or with the force of a motive; prompt; instigate.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Motive mō′tiv causing motion: having power to cause motion
    • n Motive that which moves or excites to action: inducement: reason
    • v.t Motive to act on as a motive, instigate
    • ***


  • Herman Cain
    Herman Cain
    “Nobody motivates today's workers. If it doesn't come from within, it doesn't come. Fun helps remove the barriers that allow people to motivate themselves.”
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    “No one does anything from a single motive.”
  • Peter Davies
    Peter Davies
    “Motivation is like food for the brain. You cannot get enough in one sitting. It needs continual and regular top up s.”
  • Mike Ditka
    Mike Ditka
    “The ones who want to achieve and win championships motivate themselves.”
  • Peter F. Drucker
    “We know nothing about motivation. All we can do is write books about it.”
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
    “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. motif, LL. motivum, from motivus, moving, fr. L. movere, motum, to move. See Move


In literature:

But you will say, a great many other Northerners tell us so, who can have no political motives.
"The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus" by American Anti-Slavery Society
His motive was impatience, his thoughts were gloomy, and his courtship was like the pawings of an elephant.
"Caleb Williams" by William Godwin
The stock of its sustaining motives was exhausted.
"Renaissance in Italy Vol. 3" by John Addington Symonds
Of other and more questionable motives I shall say nothing here.
"The Felon's Track" by Michael Doheny
Mr. Lloyd George bowed to the force of these motives, but yielded to the greater force of Mr. Wilson's resolve.
"The Inside Story Of The Peace Conference" by Emile Joseph Dillon
Why, then, should not a wise man, through purely selfish motives, begin early to cultivate the gentle art of giving joy?
"Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall" by Charles Major
This idea of the kingdom of heaven, so central in Christianity, is also the essential motive in the religion of Zoroaster.
"Ten Great Religions" by James Freeman Clarke
I have kept your secret for my own interest, and now you will keep mine from the same motive.
"Hatchie, the Guardian Slave; or, The Heiress of Bellevue" by Warren T. Ashton
The motive does not matter much to the poor victim.
"An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800" by Mary Frances Cusack
Truth, right, and duty are motives of a different order.
"The Whence and the Whither of Man" by John Mason Tyler
The motive of the orchard is prettily conceived and carried out with spirit.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece" by John Addington Symonds
We are not too nicely to scrutinize motives as long as action is irreproachable.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
I refer to it for example's sake and not from evil motives.
"The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1"
With somewhat staggering frankness, Douglas laid bare his inmost motive for unflinching opposition to Great Britain.
"Stephen A. Douglas" by Allen Johnson
He gave no clue whatever to his motive.
"Verner's Pride" by Mrs. Henry Wood
If so, no trace of her body, no clue to her murderer, no motive for the deed, has been discovered.
"Out of a Labyrinth" by Lawrence L. Lynch
Of greatest worth are the motives which spring from desire for the general good; these are moral motives.
"A Review of the Systems of Ethics Founded on the Theory of Evolution" by C. M. Williams
It implies thought and feeling, ideals and motives, valuation and choice.
"Ethics" by John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts
No, we are lovers of Liszt, but the martyrdom motive has been sounded too often.
"Franz Liszt" by James Huneker
Can you hope to find the true Good in a life whose aims are so sordid, whose motives so selfish?
"Expositor's Bible: The Book of Ecclesiastes" by Samuel Cox

In poetry:

How strange are the stories we sometimes read
In faces we meet by the way,
They unconsciously tell of motive or deed
That the tongue would refuse to betray.
"An Open Book" by Jared Barhite
God knows what motive such large zeal inspires,
God knows the star for which I climb and crave,
God knows, and only God, the eating fires
That in my bosom rave.
"Aspiration" by Madison Julius Cawein
Let a just ambition fire
Every motive and desire
God and man to serve:
Man, with zeal and honour due,
God, with gratitude most true,
And all the spirit's nerve!
"Aspire" by Martin Farquhar Tupper
When the motive is right and the will is strong
There are no limits to human power;
For that great Force back of us moves along
And takes us with it, in trial's hour.
"Limitless" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
'Twas a new motive from their homes to day
That drew an eager wondering people out,
Like those who from Mount Zion took their way,
From Judah and the regions round about
"Baptism In Lake Aluumette" by Nora Pembroke
New hopes, new motives, all things ever new
Expelling all things old, however dear,
Uproot the mind from growing strong and true,
And the poor heart in all its longings sear.
"Moving On" by Martin Farquhar Tupper

In news:

It's true: Anger can be a great motivator for change.
There are so many things to motivate you when running outside: beautiful scenery, speedy runners to secretly race, and fresh air to keep you fueled.
Robbery called motive in Sequatchie slaying.
It's fine to share the good news about your kids – but first consider your motives and your audience.
It's about that time again, the time for Monday morning motivation.
Stanley Cup motivates Brea sponsor.
The 3rd District challenger calls the mailer politically motivated.
All over the world there are educated, skilled, motivated people dreaming of a better life in another country.
Thåe Greenbacks were trounced by a motivated Nickerson team 38-0 in the season opener.
Has signed an agreement with customer service motivational and strategy firm ServiceElements of Scottsdale, Ariz.
The motives people have for entering the public sphere often are murky.
The FBI has been called into the Wisconsin Sikh temple investigation on the grounds that shooter Wade Michael Page had ties to white supremacist organizations, but no motive has yet been determined.
The Proper Motivator Ensures That the Bar Mitzvah Celebration Boogies.
Profit motive to WoF cause.
The Mendocino County Railway Society would like to thank the Mendocino County Museum, Roots of Motive Power and all the generous volunteers who gave 'their all' to the Hand Car Races, Kinetic Carnivale and grand ball last weekend.

In science:

This classification enables to observe in theorem 4.5 a startling rigidity of these motives with respect of A, which we call the motivic dichotomy of pro jective linear groups.
Upper motives of products of projective linear groups
We then study the case of indecomposable motives lying in the motivic decompositions of pro jective homogeneous varieties under the action of products of pro jective linear groups.
Upper motives of products of projective linear groups
These results are certainly of independent interest, and are then related with the theory of upper motives in the last section to get our motivic classification results.
Upper motives of products of projective linear groups
Keywords: Grothendieck motives, upper motives, algebraic groups, Severi-Brauer varieties.
Upper motives of products of projective linear groups
By [K¨oc91] (see also [CGM05]) the motive M (XF ) ∈ CM(F ; Λ) is isomorphic to a finite direct sum of Tate motives.
Upper motives of products of projective linear groups
Moreover by [CM06] X satisfies Rost nilpotence principle and thus the results of [CM06] (see also [Kar11]) show that the motive of X decomposes in an essentially unique way as a direct sum of indecomposable motives.
Upper motives of products of projective linear groups
The motive of X is denoted h(X ) and by definition is the motive (X, ∆X , 0) where ∆X is the class in CHdX (X × X ) of the diagonal in X × X . A morphism between two motives (X, p, n) and (Y , q , m) is a correspondence in q ◦ CHd+n−m(X × Y ) ◦ p.
Chow groups of smooth varieties fibred by quadrics
In this case there are several ways to compute the Chow motive of X in terms of the Chow motive of B .
Chow groups of smooth varieties fibred by quadrics
By , the Chow motive (with integer coefficients) of the F -variety G/P decomposes in a finite direct sum of shifts of the motive of the F -varieties Spec K ′ , where K ′ runs over intermediate fields of the extension K/F .
Unitary grassmannians
There is a decomposition M (Xr ) ≃ Mr ⊕ M such that the motive M is a sum of shifts of M (Spec K ) and for any field extension L/F with split hL the motive Mr is split (meaning is a sum of Tate motives).
Unitary grassmannians
The motive Mr (defined by Xr uniquely up to an isomorphism) will be called the essential motive of Xr (or the essential part of the motive of Xr ).
Unitary grassmannians
According to the general result of , any summand of the complete motivic decomposition of the variety Xr is a shift of the upper motive U (Xs ) for some s ≥ r or a shift of the motive of the F -variety Spec K .
Unitary grassmannians
Any summand of the complete decomposition of the essential motive Mr is a shift of the upper motive U (Xs ) for some s ≥ r .
Unitary grassmannians
Remark 7.8. A motive is split if it is isomorphic to a finite direct sum of Tate motives. A motive is geometrical ly split if it becomes split over an extension of the base field.
Unitary grassmannians
Dimension dim P of a geometrically split motive P is the maximum of |i − j | for i and j running over the integers such that the Tate motives M (Spec L)(i) and M (Spec L)(j ) are direct summands of PL , where L/F is a field extension splitting N .
Unitary grassmannians