English dictionary

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English adjective: motive

1. motive causing or able to cause motion

SamplesA motive force.
Motive power.
Motor energy.



Antonymsnoncausal, noncausative

2. motive impelling to action

SamplesIt may well be that ethical language has primarily a motivative function.
Motive pleas.
Motivating arguments.

Synonymsmotivating, motivative


Antonymsnoncausal, noncausative

English noun: motive

1. 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

SamplesWe did not understand his motivation.
He acted with the best of motives.

Synonymsmotivation, need

Broader (hypernym)psychological feature

Narrower (hyponym)ethical motive, ethics, impulse, irrational motive, life, mental energy, morality, morals, psychic energy, rational motive, urge

2. motive (communication) a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music


Broader (hypernym)idea, melodic theme, musical theme, theme

Narrower (hyponym)obbligato, obligato

3. motive (artifact) a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration


Broader (hypernym)design, figure, pattern

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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