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motivation Syllabification: mo·ti·va·tion
Pronunciation: /ˌmōdəˈvāSH(ə)n/

Definition of motivation in English:


1The reason or reasons one has 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.
informal carrot
1.1The general desire or willingness of someone to do something: 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
informal get-up-and-go



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: /-SHənl-ē/
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.


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

Definition of motivation in:

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