motive Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “motive” - English Dictionary

Definition of "motive" - American English Dictionary

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)

Definition of "motive" - British English Dictionary

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.
More examples

motiveadjective [before noun]

uk   /ˈməʊ.tɪv/  us   /ˈmoʊ.t̬ɪv/ specialized
(of ​power or ​force) ​causingmovement or ​action
(Definition of motive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © 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
Word of the Day

harvest

to pick and collect crops, or to collect plants, animals, or fish to eat

Word of the Day

In London but at the station: prepositions for talking about travel
In London but at the station: prepositions for talking about travel
by Liz Walter,
September 02, 2015
Several readers have asked for information on prepositions, so I will start with a blog post that looks at an area where they are really important: travel. The first thing to remember is that we use to (and not ‘in’) after the verb go: We are going to London. I went to

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More