What does motive mean?

Definitions for motive
ˈmoʊ tɪvmo·tive

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

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. motif, motivenoun

    a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music

  3. motif, motiveadjective

    a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration

  4. motive(a), motoradjective

    causing or able to cause motion

    "a motive force"; "motive power"; "motor energy"

  5. motivative(a), motive(a), motivatingadjective

    impelling to action

    "it may well be that ethical language has primarily a motivative function"- Arthur Pap; "motive pleas"; "motivating arguments"

Wiktionary

  1. motivenoun

    An incentive to act; a reason for doing something; anything that prompted a choice of action.

  2. motivenoun

    A motif; a theme or subject, especially one that is central to the work or often repeated.

    If you listen carefully, you can hear the flutes mimicking the cello motive.

  3. motiveverb

    To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move.

  4. motiveadjective

    Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power.

  5. motiveadjective

    Relating to motion and/or to its cause

Webster Dictionary

  1. Motivenoun

    that which moves; a mover

  2. Motivenoun

    that which incites to action; anything prompting or exciting to choise, or moving the will; cause; reason; inducement; object

  3. Motivenoun

    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

  4. Motivenoun

    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

  5. Motiveadjective

    causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power

  6. Motiveverb

    to prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move

Freebase

  1. Motive

    A motive, in law, especially criminal law, is the cause that moves people to induce a certain action. Motive, in itself, is not an element of any given crime; however, the legal system typically allows motive to be proven in order to make plausible the accused's reasons for committing a crime, at least when those motives may be obscure or hard to identify with. The law technically distinguishes between motive and intent. "Intent" in criminal law is synonymous with mens rea, which means no more than the specific mental purpose to perform a deed that is forbidden by a criminal statute, or the reckless disregard of whether the law will be violated. "Motive" describes instead the reasons in the accused's background and station in life that are supposed to have induced the crime. Motive is particularly important in prosecutions for homicide. First, murder is so drastic a crime that most people recoil from the thought of being able to do it; proof of motive explains why the accused did so desperate an act. Moreover, most common law jurisdictions have statutes that provide for degrees of homicide, based in part on the accused's mental state. The lesser offence of voluntary manslaughter, for example, traditionally required that the accused knowingly and voluntarily kill the victim; in addition, it must be shown that the killing took place in the "sudden heat of passion," an excess of rage or anger coming from a contemporary provocation, which clouded the accused's judgment. Homicides motivated by such factors are a lesser offense than murder "in cold blood."

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Motive

    mō′tiv, adj. causing motion: having power to cause motion.—n. that which moves or excites to action: inducement: reason.—v.t. to act on as a motive, instigate.—v.t. Mō′tivāte, to act on as a motive, induce.—n. Motivā′tion.—adj. Mōtiveless.—ns. Mō′tivelessness; Mō′tive-power, or -force, the force acting upon a body so as to cause it to move; Motiv′ity, power of producing motion: the quality of being influenced by motion. [Fr., through Low L., from movēre, mōtum to move.]

Suggested Resources

  1. motive

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

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'motive' in Nouns Frequency: #1796

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Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of motive in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of motive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of motive in a Sentence

  1. Sami Steigmann:

    Someone of her stature has to be extremely careful to use the proper language and not to perpetuate false narratives, i'm extremely disappointed in her for making such a stupid comment. I do n’t know the motive for why she said it, but the damage has been done.

  2. Alexander Hamilton:

    Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and as, in the latter state, even the individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves; so, in the former state, will the more powerful factions or parties be gradually induced, by a like motive to wish for a government which will protect all parties, the weaker as well as the more powerful.

  3. Andy McCarthy:

    I don’t like ‘hate crimes’ charges because they overcomplicate violent crime prosecutions, sometimes incurably so, that is because they shift the emphasis from what the defendant did to what his motive was for doing it. That can be a trap, especially with a defendant who is likely to raise his mental capacity as a defense.

  4. Ayn Rand:

    The common good of a collective -- a race, a class, a state -- was the claim and justification of every tyranny ever established over men. Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpetrated by disciples of altruism? Does the fault lie in men's hypocrisy or in the nature of the principle? The most dreadful butchers were the most sincere. The believed in the perfect society reached through the guillotine and the firing squad. Nobody questioned their right to murder since they were murdering for an altruistic purpose. It was accepted that man must be sacrificed for other men. Actors change, but the course of the tragedy remains the same. A humanitarian who starts with the declarations of love for mankind and ends with a sea of blood. It goes on and will go on so long as men believe that an action is good if it is unselfish. That permits the altruist to act and forces his victims to bear it. The leaders of collectivist movements ask nothing of themselves. But observe the results.

  5. Mitch Daniels:

    Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun embodied all we can hope for in our leaders : brilliance of mind, purity of motive, stainless in character, tireless in the pursuit of duty. Incomparably knowledgeable about the world, Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun was first and always a patriot, utterly dedicated to the security and wellbeing of Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun fellow Americans, indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun voice is now silent, but Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun is still with us. Indianapolis is a thriving and vibrant city because of Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun. The world is safer from nuclear danger because of Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun. And so many of us, while falling far short of the standards Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun set, are vastly better people because of Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun.

Popularity rank by frequency of use

motive#10000#16875#100000

Translations for motive

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    diverge from the expected
    • A. abet
    • B. excogitate
    • C. aberrate
    • D. descant

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