noun in·cen·tive \in-ˈsen-tiv\

: something that encourages a person to do something or to work harder

Full Definition of INCENTIVE

:  something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action
incentive adjective

Examples of INCENTIVE

  1. The rising cost of electricity provides a strong incentive to conserve energy.
  2. The government offers special tax incentives for entrepreneurs.
  3. The company is offering a special low price as an added incentive for new customers.


Middle English, from Late Latin incentivum, from neuter of incentivus stimulating, from Latin, setting the tune, from incentus, past participle of incinere to play (a tune), from in- + canere to sing — more at chant
First Known Use: 15th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: incentive wagePrevious Word in the Dictionary: incenterAll Words Near: incentive
May 25, 2015
callithump Hear it
a noisy boisterous band or parade
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears