Definition of MOTIVE

a major object of interest or concern (as in a discussion or artistic composition) <the principal motive of the piece was introduced in the flute section>
a unit of decoration that is repeated all over something (as a fabric) <decorated with a paisley motive>
something (as a belief) that serves as the basis for another thing <the detective felt that the first suspect didn't have any motive for committing the crime>

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