Meaning of “incentive” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"incentive" in British English

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incentivenoun [ C or U ]

uk /ɪnˈsen.tɪv/ us /ɪnˈsen.t̬ɪv/

C2 something that encourages a person to do something:

Tax incentives have been very effective in encouraging people to save and invest more of their income.
[ + to infinitive ] There is little incentive for people to leave their cars at home when public transport remains so expensive.
Bonus payments provide an incentive to work harder.

More examples

  • Indexation of pay rises to productivity will give people an incentive to work harder.
  • The incentive to sell more is large - and it plainly works.
  • The management have introduced a productivity incentive scheme for members of staff.
  • Tax incentives have been offered to attract industry to the region.
  • The new law provides incentives for businesses to invest in recycling equipment.

(Definition of “incentive” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"incentive" in American English

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incentivenoun [ C/U ]

us /ɪnˈsen·tɪv/

something that encourages a person to do something:

[ C ] Tax incentives are sometimes effective in encouraging people to save money.
[ U ] These kids have no incentive to learn.

(Definition of “incentive” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"incentive" in Business English

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incentivenoun [ C or U ]

uk /ɪnˈsentɪv/ us

something, especially money, that encourages a person or organization to do something:

financial/fiscal/monetary incentive Cash grants were part of the financial incentives given to developers of new solar power technology.
a big/great/generous incentive
incentive to do sth
Executives had a strong incentive to destroy papers they knew would incriminate them in court.
be/have little/no incentive There will be little incentive to consolidate before new tax laws take effect.
incentive for sb to do sth There's no incentive for the unions to make concessions now, since they've always been given what they asked for.
incentive package/plan/system
create/offer/provide an incentive

(Definition of “incentive” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)