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the act or an instance of , or providing with a reason to act in a certain way:
I don’t understand what her motivation was for quitting her job.
Synonyms: motive, inspiration, inducement, cause, impetus.
the state or condition of being or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something:
We know that these students have strong motivation to learn.
something that ; inducement; incentive:
Clearly, the company’s long-term motivation is profit.
Contemporary Examples

“One would have to ask whether in fact that might not have been a motivation,” Cain said.
Cain Denies New Harassment Charge Howard Kurtz November 7, 2011

I had to figure that out, and it had to be so powerful that we could even understand the motivation behind that curse.
The ‘Maleficent’ Screenwriter Also Wrote ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Kevin Fallon May 31, 2014

Well, there’s one, but Murkowski doesn’t like her, either, so that just provides Murkowski with motivation.
The Republicans Who Might Play Ball Michael Tomasky November 12, 2012

“What was remarkable about this source was his motivation,” said Crumpton.
CIA’s Henry Crumpton on the Heroes You’ll Never Know Miranda Green November 14, 2012

“As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings,” DeSantis wrote.
Bankers to Feel Sorry For William D. Cohan March 26, 2009

Historical Examples

According to our assumption they must be incapable of telling us anything about it since this motivation is unconscious to them.
Totem and Taboo Sigmund Freud

The law of motivation is, like all causality, merely the form of the phenomenon.
Introduction to the Science of Sociology Robert E. Park

The obscurity of motivation in this tale makes apparent the extensive revision that it has undergone.
The Grateful Dead Gordon Hall Gerould

What can act as a source for their motivation, for the strength they have lost?
When You Don’t Know Where to Turn Steven J. Bartlett

Nevertheless he was the basis, the motivation second only to mine.
Question of Comfort Les Collins

the act or an instance of motivating
desire to do; interest or drive
incentive or inducement
(psychol) the process that arouses, sustains and regulates human and animal behaviour

1873, from motivate + -ion. Psychological use, “inner or social stimulus for an action,” is from 1904.


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