motive Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “motive” in the English Dictionary

"motive" in British English

See all translations

motivenoun [C]

uk   /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 forlying about where he was? What is the motive behind (= the ​reason for) the ​bombing? I ​think you should examine/​questiontheir motives inoffering to ​lend you the ​money. She ​denies that she has an ulterior (= ​secret) motive for making the ​donation.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

motiveadjective [before noun]

uk   /ˈməʊ.tɪv/  us   /ˈmoʊ.t̬ɪv/ specialized
(Definition of motive from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"motive" in American English

See all translations

motivenoun [C]

 us   /ˈmoʊ·t̬ɪv/
a ​reason for doing something: Does he have a motive for ​lying about where he was? Judy moved to Florida because she ​likes it there, not for any ​ulterior motive (= ​secretreason).
motivate
verb [T]  us   /ˈmoʊ·t̬əˌveɪt/
She’s motivated by a ​desire to ​helppeople.
(Definition of motive from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “motive”
in Korean 동기…
in Arabic دافِع…
in Malaysian motif…
in French motif…
in Russian основание, мотив…
in Chinese (Traditional) 動機, (行動的)緣由, 目的…
in Italian motivo…
in Turkish neden, sebep, dürtü…
in Polish motyw…
in Spanish motivo…
in Vietnamese động cơ…
in Portuguese motivo…
in Thai แรงจูงใจ…
in German das Motiv…
in Catalan motiu…
in Japanese 動機…
in Chinese (Simplified) 动机, (行动的)缘由, 目的…
in Indonesian motif…
What is the pronunciation of motive?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“motive” in British English

“motive” in American English

Word of the Day

new wave

people who are doing activities in a new and different way

Word of the Day

Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
by Liz Walter,
February 03, 2016
My previous post (My leg hurts: Talking about illness (1)) presented some general vocabulary to use at the doctor’s. This one looks at some more specific areas of illness and explains some useful words and phrases that you may need to use or understand on a visit to the doctor’s. There are several

Read More 

awesomesauce noun
awesomesauce noun
February 01, 2016
slang the state of being extremely good or enjoyable or something or someone that is extremely good or enjoyable Recovering from the awesomesauce of another fab #Vidcon!!

Read More