incentive

noun
in·​cen·​tive | \ in-ˈsen-tiv How to pronounce incentive (audio) \

Definition of incentive

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

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Other Words from incentive

incentive adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for incentive

motive, impulse, incentive, inducement, spur, goad mean a stimulus to action. motive implies an emotion or desire operating on the will and causing it to act. a motive for the crime impulse suggests a driving power arising from personal temperament or constitution. buying on impulse incentive applies to an external influence (such as an expected reward) inciting to action. a bonus was offered as an incentive inducement suggests a motive prompted by the deliberate enticements or allurements of another. offered a watch as an inducement to subscribe spur applies to a motive that stimulates the faculties or increases energy or ardor. fear was a spur to action goad suggests a motive that keeps one going against one's will or desire. thought insecurity a goad to worker efficiency

Examples of incentive in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The United States also had a strong incentive not to take its foot off the pedal against Thailand. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive.com, "Did USA show smart strategy or poor sportsmanship in scoring 13 goals against Thailand in FIFA Women’s World Cup?," 11 June 2019 Businesses have every financial incentive to hire the latter, and women face substantial financial pressure to live like her. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Corporations Are People, Unborn Children Aren’t," 11 June 2019 With eighteen long months to go until the election, Republicans have little incentive to stay in line—that will change as November 3, 2020 draws nearer. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Corruption Is the Tie that Binds for Trump-Era Republicans," 11 June 2019 The Raptors had every incentive to devise a plan that would shift the odds of such an enormous bet in their favor. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Kawhi Leonard Spent the NBA Season Hibernating. Now He’s Dominating.," 8 May 2019 That same weakened pelvic floor that's causing leakage is also responsible for weaker orgasms—which is also more incentive to keep practicing those Kegels. Kristi Kellogg, Glamour, "Your Vagina After Birth: 10 Things to Expect," 29 Apr. 2019 The bill, which introduces tax incentives and cuts red tape, passed the National Assembly early Saturday, where Mr. Macron’s party has a commanding majority, and now heads to the Senate for debate. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "French Lawmakers Approve Steps to Speed Restoration of Notre Dame," 10 May 2019 Waking up before dawn wasn’t (and still isn’t) easy, but having some financial incentives helped motivate me to commit to this routine early on. Julia Sullivan, SELF, "How I Went From Hating Exercise to Becoming a Fitness Instructor in 5 Years," 3 May 2019 Still, saving $50 doesn’t seem like much incentive to give up physical media. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Xbox One S All-Digital Edition finally joins PC gamers in the disc-less future," 17 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incentive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of incentive

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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Dictionary Entries near incentive

incensory

incent

incenter

incentive

incentive wage

incentivize

incept

Statistics for incentive

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incentive

The first known use of incentive was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for incentive

incentive

noun

English Language Learners Definition of incentive

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

incentive

noun
in·​cen·​tive | \ in-ˈsen-tiv How to pronounce incentive (audio) \

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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Comments on incentive

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