Definition of motivation in English:

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Pronunciation: /məʊtɪˈveɪʃ(ə)n/


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.

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