Simple Definition of incentive
: 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
Examples of incentive
The rising cost of electricity provides a strong incentive to conserve energy.
The government offers special tax incentives for entrepreneurs.
The company is offering a special low price as an added incentive for new customers.
Origin of incentive
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
Synonym Discussion of incentive
INCENTIVE Defined for Kids
Definition of incentive
: something that makes a person try or work hard or harder <Longer recess was an incentive to finish our work.>
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