What does motivation mean?

Definitions for motivation
ˌmoʊ təˈveɪ ʃənmo·ti·va·tion

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word motivation.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. motivation, motive, neednoun

    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"

  2. motivationnoun

    the condition of being motivated

    "his motivation was at a high level"

  3. motivation, motivatingnoun

    the act of motivating; providing incentive


  1. motivationnoun

    The act or process of motivating.

  2. motivationnoun

    The goal or mental image of a goal that creates a motivation; as, the image of a peaceful world is a powerful motivation for only a rare few individuals.

  3. motivationnoun

    The mental process that arouses an organism to action; as, a large part of a teacher's job is to give students the motivation to learn on their own.


  1. motivationnoun

    Willingness of action especially in behavior

  2. motivationnoun

    The action of motivating.

  3. motivationnoun

    Something which motivates.

  4. motivationnoun

    An incentive or reason for doing something.

  5. motivationnoun

    a research rating that measures how the rational and emotional elements of a commercial affect consumer intention to consider, visit, or buy something.

    The motivation scores showed that 65% of people wanted to visit our website to learn more about the offer after watching the commercial.

  6. Etymology: motive, from the verb moveo, + -ation


  1. Motivation

    Motivation is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to act towards a desired goal and elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal-directed behaviors. It can be considered a driving force; a psychological one that compels or reinforces an action toward a desired goal. For example, hunger is a motivation that elicits a desire to eat. Motivation is the purpose or psychological cause of an action. Motivation has been shown to have roots in physiological, behavioral, cognitive, and social areas. Motivation may be rooted in a basic impulse to optimize well-being, minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure. It can also originate from specific physical needs such as eating, sleeping or resting, and sex. Motivation is an inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner. "It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day." These inner conditions such as wishes, desires, goals, activate to move in a particular direction in behavior.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Motivation

    Those factors which cause an organism to behave or act in either a goal-seeking or satisfying manner. They may be influenced by physiological drives or by external stimuli.

Editors Contribution

  1. motivation

    The reason for a specific action or purpose.

    Their motivation was simple as they were very loving, kind and caring and choose a united society and world where everyone benefits from life.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 1, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. motivation

    Song lyrics by motivation -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by motivation on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'motivation' in Nouns Frequency: #2038

How to pronounce motivation?

How to say motivation in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of motivation in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of motivation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of motivation in a Sentence

  1. U. S. Government Study On The Labeling Of Children:

    The term "learning disability" has appeal because it implies a specific neurological condition for which no one can be held particularly responsible, and yet it escapes the stigma of mental retardation. There is no implication of neglect, emotional disturbance, or improper training or education, nor does it imply a lack of motivation on the part of the child. For these cosmetic reasons, it is a rather nice term to have around.

  2. Rachael Farrokh:

    What people don't understand is I can't just eat a cheeseburger because it could kill me, we have already started. It's going OK. I have good days and bad days just like anyone. What kept me really up and fired right now is the love and support and motivation from everyone who has reached out to me -- thousands of people. I had a bulimic girl tell me she pulled her head out of the toilet and( sought) treatment after seeing my story.

  3. Oscar Tabarez:

    Those kids will never forget that moment, i'm very proud about the way in which we live and experience football in our country. I talk to the players about this and use it as part of their motivation.

  4. Marco Orellana:

    Most were distressed, without motivation. They had not moved for weeks.

  5. Siddharth Astir:

    Right motivation is the only tool required to achieve success.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for motivation

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"motivation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 10 Aug. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/motivation>.

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based on or subject to individual discretion or preference or sometimes impulse or caprice
  • A. ravening
  • B. eloquent
  • C. arbitrary
  • D. incumbent

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