• WordNet 3.6
    • n incentive a positive motivational influence
    • n incentive an additional payment (or other remuneration) to employees as a means of increasing output
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Incentive Inciting; encouraging or moving; rousing to action; stimulative. "Competency is the most incentive to industry."
    • Incentive Serving to kindle or set on fire. "Part incentive reed
      Provide, pernicious with one touch of fire."
    • n Incentive That which moves or influences the mind, or operates on the passions; that which incites, or has a tendency to incite, to determination or action; that which prompts to good or ill; motive; spur; as, the love of money, and the desire of promotion, are two powerful incentives to action. "The greatest obstacles, the greatest terrors that come in their way, are so far from making them quit the work they had begun, that they rather prove incentives to them to go on in it."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • incentive Inciting; encouraging.
    • incentive Setting fire; igniting; firing; incendiary.
    • n incentive That which moves the mind or stirs the passions; that which incites or tends to incite to action; motive; spur: as, pride is a powerful incentive.
    • n incentive Synonyms Impulse, etc. (see motive), stimulus, incitement, encouragement, goad.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Incentive in-sent′iv inciting, encouraging:
    • n Incentive that which incites to action or moves the mind: motive
    • adj Incentive in-sent′iv (Milt.) igniting
    • ***


  • Sir Philip Sidney
    “To be ambitious of true honor, of the true glory and perfection of our natures, is the very principle and incentive of virtue.”
  • Hosea Ballou
    “Doubt is the incentive to truth and inquiry leads the way.”
  • Orison Swett Marden
    “There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.”
  • John N. Mitchell
    John N. Mitchell
    “Frustrated love has been the incentive for many great works.”
  • William Leith
    William Leith
    “Photographers never have much incentive to show the world as it is.”
  • Plato
    “Pleasure is the greatest incentive to evil.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. incentivus, from incinere, to strike up or set the tune; pref. in-, + canere, to sing. See Enchant Chant
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. incentivus, striking up a tune—incinĕrein, in, canĕre, to sing.


In literature:

Even patriotism is too vague to be a sufficient incentive.
"Out To Win" by Coningsby Dawson
The incentive to this step was the inhuman treatment he was subjected to.
"The Underground Railroad" by William Still
Australia will always follow in the train of Eurasia, whence alone it has derived its incentives and means of progress.
"Influences of Geographic Environment" by Ellen Churchill Semple
Without any special incentive, just the natural desire of a daughter and a sister for reunion after so long a parting would have taken her there.
"The Real Adventure" by Henry Kitchell Webster
This function of dreams becomes especially well marked when there arises some incentive for the sense perception.
"Dream Psychology" by Sigmund Freud
Steele and I differed only in the driving incentive; of course, outside of that one binding vow to save the Ranger Service.
"The Rustlers of Pecos County" by Zane Grey
Malcourt's marriage to an heiress was the perfectly obvious incentive of the visit.
"The Firing Line" by Robert W. Chambers
Thus our innate desire to take things easy is a real incentive to progress.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 794, March 21, 1891" by Various
The first still leaves her with some slight incentive for enterprise, energy, and hope.
"The Economic Consequences of the Peace" by John Maynard Keynes
The element of uncertainty as to when the next question will come is a good incentive to alertness.
"How to Teach Religion" by George Herbert Betts

In poetry:

(Aloud with much ceremony)
Irresistible incentive
Bids me humbly kiss your hand;
I'm your servant most attentive—
Most attentive to command!
"The Sorcerer: Act I" by William Schwenck Gilbert
CYPRIAN. Let us enter,
For my mind with such a master,
For my love with such incentive,
Will the sorcerer Cyprian's name
Live before the world for ever.
"The Wonder-Working Magician - Act II" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
Your rays, that scarce assist the sight,
That pierce, but not displace the night;
That shine indeed, but nothing shew
Of all those various scenes below,
Bring no disturbance, rather prove
Incentives to a sacred love.
"The Secrets Of Divine Love Are To Be Kept" by William Cowper

In news:

Transit incentive program introduced in Chicago's Cook County.
Adapting to the uncertainty in Michigan's production incentive program .
City council discusses joining tax incentive program .
Registration for the Medicaid federal electronic health record (EHR) incentive program is now open.
Oregon governor signs school energy incentive program .
Clarification on Primary Care Incentive Program Clears Up Confusion.
Bonus Payments for Primary Care Incentive Program Due Soon.
A financial incentive program has helped put more than 650 hybrid trucks and buses on California roads, according to the California Air Resources Board.
End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program .
The NFL Players Association filed papers in federal court pointing out that the NFL permitted a 1996 incentive program for big hits funded by then-Green Bay defensive lineman Reggie White.
These misaligned incentives, most experts believe, are largely responsible for the notorious inefficiency of American health care -- costing more than $8,000 per person, or twice what most other countries spend.
Proposed cuts may eliminate longstanding farmland conservation incentive.
Influential financier Darla Moore urged Lowcountry businesses and leaders to find a way to boost tourist spending while diversifying the local economy, but she argued officials need to better target incentives to spur development.
Bradley County supports Duracell plant incentives.
The Baltimore Ravens made a bold move today, signing free agent WR Donte' Stallworth to what is reportedly a 1 year deal worth $900,000 with another $300,000 in incentives.

In science:

A selfish node, on the other hand, is an economically rational node whose objective is to maximize its own welfare, which is defined as the benefit of its actions minus the cost of its actions. Since forwarding a message will incur a cost, a selfish node will need incentive for doing it.
A Distributed Trust Management Framework for Detecting Malicious Packet Dropping Nodes in a Mobile Ad Hoc Network
The higher the reputation value of a node the more trustworthy the node is. However, there are several issues with the reputation systems. First, there are no formal specifications and analyses for the types of incentives provided by such systems.
A Distributed Trust Management Framework for Detecting Malicious Packet Dropping Nodes in a Mobile Ad Hoc Network
In economics, one tries to solve the problem by introducing taxes (i.e. another incentive structure) or a “shadow of the future ” (i.e. a strate gic optimization over in finite time horizons in accordance with the rational agent approach) [96, 97].
Fundamental and Real-World Challenges in Economics
Societies can overcome the tragedy of the commons even without transforming the incentive structure through taxes.
Fundamental and Real-World Challenges in Economics
In particular, research on happiness has revealed that there are more incentives than just financial ones that motivate people to work hard [133]. I nterestingly, there are quite a number of factors which promote volunteering [132].
Fundamental and Real-World Challenges in Economics