Free Dictionary

Free Dictionary

Home ×
Link Link Link Link

Search Result for "motive": 
Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (3)

1. 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;
- Example: "we did not understand his motivation"
- Example: "he acted with the best of motives"
[syn: motivation, motive, need]

2. a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music;
[syn: motif, motive]

3. a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration;
[syn: motif, motive]


ADJECTIVE (2)

1. causing or able to cause motion;
- Example: "a motive force"
- Example: "motive power"
- Example: "motor energy"
[syn: motive(a), motor]

2. impelling to action;
- Example: "it may well be that ethical language has primarily a motivative function"- Arthur Pap
- Example: "motive pleas"
- Example: "motivating arguments"
[syn: motivative(a), motive(a), motivating]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Motive \Mo"tive\, a. Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power. "Motive faculty." --Bp. Wilkins. [1913 Webster] Motive power (Mach.), a natural agent, as water, steam, wind, electricity, etc., used to impart motion to machinery; a motor; a mover. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Motive \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. [1913 Webster] 2. That which incites to action; anything prompting or exciting to choise, or moving the will; cause; reason; inducement; object; motivation[2]. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 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.] [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Motive \Mo"tive\, v. t. To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

motive adj 1: causing or able to cause motion; "a motive force"; "motive power"; "motor energy" [syn: motive(a), motor] 2: impelling to action; "it may well be that ethical language has primarily a motivative function"- Arthur Pap; "motive pleas"; "motivating arguments" [syn: motivative(a), motive(a), motivating] n 1: 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" [syn: motivation, motive, need] 2: a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music [syn: motif, motive] 3: a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration [syn: motif, motive]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

135 Moby Thesaurus words for "motive": activating, active, actuating, aim, ambition, angle, animating, animus, antecedent, argument, aspiration, attraction, basis, burden, case, causal, causative, cause, chapter, compelling, concern, consideration, counsel, desideration, desideratum, design, desire, determinant, determination, device, directive, driving, effect, emotion, end, enticement, essence, feeling, figure, fixed purpose, focus of attention, focus of interest, function, gist, goad, goal, grounds, head, heading, idea, impellent, impelling, impulsive, in motion, incentive, incitement, inducement, inducive, influence, intendment, intent, intention, issue, kinetic, leitmotiv, living issue, lure, main point, matter, matter in hand, meaning, meat, mind, mobile, motif, motile, motivating, motivating force, motivation, motivational, motor, moving, nisus, object, objective, operative, passion, pattern, phrase, plan, point, point at issue, point in question, pressing, problem, prod, project, propellant, propelling, proposal, propulsive, propulsory, prospectus, pulsive, purpose, pushing, question, rationale, reason, resolution, resolve, rubric, sake, shoving, spring, spur, stimulation, stimulus, stirring, striving, study, subject, subject matter, subject of thought, substance, text, theme, thrusting, topic, transitional, traveling, urge, urgent, view, will
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

MOTIVE. The inducement, cause or reason why a thing is done. 2. When there is such a mistake in the motive, that had the truth been known, the contract would pot have been made, it is generally void., For example, if a man should, after the death of Titius, of which he was ignorant, insure his life, the error of the motive would avoid the contract. Toull. Dr. Civ. Fr. liv. 3, c. 2, art. 1. Or, if Titius should sell to Livius his horse, which both parties supposed to be living at some distance from the place where the contract was made, when in fact, the horse was then dead, the contract would be void. Poth. Vente, n. 4; 2 Kent, Com. 367. When the contract is entered into under circumstances of clear mistake or surprise, it will not be enforced. See the following authorities on this subject. 1 Russ. & M. 527; 1 Ves. jr. 221; 4 Price, 135; 1 Ves. jr. 210; Atkinson on Titl. 144. Vide Cause; Consideration. 3. The motive of prosecutions is frequently an object of inquiry, particularly when the prosecutor is a witness, and in his case, as that of any other witness, when the motion is ascertained to be bad, as a desire of revenge for a real or supposed injury, the credibility of the witness will be much weakened, though this will not alone render him incompetent. See Evidence; Witness.