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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Military physicians also receive incentive pay and bonus pay that makes their incomes more competitive with civilian workers, but isn’t factored into pension calculations. Dan Frosch, WSJ, "Pedophile Doctor Could Get U.S. Pension of More Than $1.8 Million While in Prison," 27 Mar. 2019 Iamarino said the extra money from Wofford’s victory could lead the SoCon to restart the incentive fund. Larry Fenn, The Seattle Times, "Money Madness: AP analysis shows growing gap in NCAA payouts," 27 Mar. 2019 The following companies all offer incentives for shoppers to help reduce clothing waste. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "9 New Ways to Donate Your Clothes," 27 Feb. 2019 Panicked at the possibility of the Hanover line losing the throne now that there was no direct heir, George IV, acting as regent for his father, and Parliament offered George III's sons a monetary incentive to produce a legitimate heir. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Who Was Queen Victoria's Uncle, King Leopold I of Belgium?," 18 Feb. 2019 Details from the city bids that have emerged—many remain undisclosed, and/or locked behind NDAs—suggest billion-dollar packages are commonplace in the corporate incentive game. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Amazon HQ2 bids: The weird ways cities wanted to woo Bezos," 27 Dec. 2018 That’s a terrible, terrible business incentive structure. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: Ezra Klein and Kara Swisher on the future of journalism," 12 Dec. 2018 To get or maintain access to real-life ob-gyns, rural communities may have to figure out incentives to lure physicians away from major metropolitan areas, such as offering to pay off medical school loans, suggests Dr. Lawrence. Barbara Brody, Glamour, "The Ob-Gyn Shortage Is Real—And It Might Impact Your Care," 14 Nov. 2018 These credits resemble the controversial incentives that the state offers the film industry. Jon Chesto, BostonGlobe.com, "House leaders propose tax incentives for Broadway-bound shows," 13 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about incentive

Dictionary Entries near incentive

incensory

incent

incenter

incentive

incentive wage

incentivize

incept

Statistics for incentive

Last Updated

6 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incentive

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on incentive

What made you want to look up incentive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!