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Line breaks: mo¦tiv|ation
Pronunciation: /məʊtɪˈveɪʃ(ə)n

Definition of motivation in English:


1A reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way: escape can be a strong motivation for travel
More example sentences
  • I am suggesting that we are wrong to dismiss their motivations and reasoning out of hand as trivial and aberrant.
  • It is also essential to understand the reasons and motivations behind such behaviours and cultural norms.
  • For people who have no faith in God, fear of punishment would be a stronger motivation to do good than promise of reward.
motive, motivating force, incentive, stimulus, stimulation, inspiration, impulse, inducement, incitement, spur, goad, provocation;
reason, rationale, ground(s)
1.1 [mass noun] Desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm: keep staff up to date and maintain interest and motivation
More example sentences
  • An interviewer wants to gauge your enthusiasm and motivation in wanting a job there.
  • Socialism could only become a reality if the majority of people had the desire and motivation to fight for it.
  • I just hope that this enthusiasm and motivation grows, and we don't see all he has to give too soon.
enthusiasm, drive, ambition, initiative, determination, enterprise, sense of purpose
informal get-up-and-go
2South African A set of facts and arguments used in support of a proposal: the following proposal and motivation is submitted for consideration
More example sentences
  • Another factor had to do with the presentations, even the motivations.
  • Maduna said anybody was free to petition the Head of State and make a proper motivation as to why they should be pardoned.
  • Simply write a short motivation telling us why your candidate deserves to be honoured as our Woman of the Year.


late 19th century: from motive, reinforced by motivate.



Pronunciation: /-ˈveɪʃ(ə)n(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Forget what those motivational consultants say: it is possible to enjoy a new life without any effort whatsoever.
  • The motivational tips on the campaign's website should help too.
  • He's used his experiences to be one of our leading motivational speakers.


Pronunciation: /-ˈveɪʃ(ə)n(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • The next year, after presenting my first talk at the association, I get a motivationally inspiring compliment from an audience member, David McBride.
  • This preliminary finding supports the notion that providing a walk-in service will capture the opportunity to provide services when the client is motivationally ready to receive them.
  • Both attitudes were thought to be preferable, motivationally speaking, to complacent, continuous ‘regular’ smoking.

Definition of motivation in:

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