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English definition of “motive”

motive

noun [C]     /ˈməʊ.tɪv/ US  /ˈmoʊ.t̬ɪv/
B2 a reason for doing something: Why would she have killed him? She has no motive. Does he have a motive for lying about where he was? What is the motive behind (= the reason for) the bombing? I think you should examine/question their motives in offering to lend you the money. She denies that she has an ulterior (= secret) motive for making the donation.Motives and reasons
(Definition of motive noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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