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 for lying about where he was?
- He gives a lot of money to charity, but self-aggrandizement is his motive.
- The motive for this shocking attack seems to be racial hatred.
- Detectives have been unable to assign a motive for the murder.
- He claims he just wants to help Lisa but I suspect he has an ulterior motive.