motivate

verb
mo·​ti·​vate | \ ˈmō-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce motivate (audio) \
motivated; motivating

Definition of motivate

transitive verb

: to provide with a motive : impel questions that excite and motivate youth She was motivated by a desire to help children.

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Other Words from motivate

motivative \ ˈmō-​tə-​ˌvā-​tiv How to pronounce motivate (audio) \ adjective

Examples of motivate in a Sentence

No one knows what motivated him to act in such a violent way.
Recent Examples on the Web If the invitation is extended well in advance, perhaps the promise of a gathering will motivate everyone to seek a vaccine. Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "Is it OK to exclude nonvaccinated relatives from family parties?," 30 Apr. 2021 The potential upside of acquiring such an enhanced strategic capability will motivate organizations to make the switch. Ganes Kesari, Forbes, "Collective Intelligence Is About To Disrupt Your Strategy: Are You Ready?," 28 Apr. 2021 These refined running labels can also motivate runners by positioning the sport as cool. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Are $219 Running Shorts Worth It? Some Marathoners Say Yes," 14 Apr. 2021 Speaking through your actions with the ring of sincerity can motivate other people to act. Cornell William Brooks, CNN, "The lessons of Beulah Mae Donald, the mother who took down the Klan," 11 Apr. 2021 For these guys from 68 teams to motivate themselves without an audience, living almost in solitary, on the road, and play to a generally high level deserves major kudos from sportswriters, the NCAA hierarchy, and fans. oregonlive, "Canzano: Monday Mailbag heavy on Oregon State’s NCAA Tournament run and ... fishing?," 5 Apr. 2021 This might motivate more migrants to make the dangerous journey to the U.S. in search of safety and protection. Randi Mandelbaum, The Conversation, "The situation at the US-Mexico border is a crisis – but is it new?," 2 Apr. 2021 Playoff basketball is definitely motivating, but a play-in game doesn’t motivate me. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Why Warriors' Draymond Green isn't motivated by NBA's play-in tournament," 2 Apr. 2021 Of course, an intriguing photograph could motivate a follow-up mission of landing on the object and deciphering its purpose based on its composition. Avi Loeb, Scientific American, "How to Photograph a (Possible) Alien Artifact," 22 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'motivate.' 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 motivate

1836, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for motivate

Time Traveler

The first known use of motivate was in 1836

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Statistics for motivate

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Motivate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivate. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for motivate

motivate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of motivate

: to give (someone) a reason for doing something
: to be a reason for (something)

motivate

verb
mo·​ti·​vate | \ ˈmō-tə-ˌvāt How to pronounce motivate (audio) \
motivated; motivating

Kids Definition of motivate

: to give or be a reason for doing something Prizes motivated him to join the contest.

motivate

transitive verb
mo·​ti·​vate | \ ˈmōt-ə-ˌvāt How to pronounce motivate (audio) \
motivated; motivating

Medical Definition of motivate

: to provide with a motive or serve as a motive for motivate patients to change unhealthy lifestyles

Other Words from motivate

motivative \ -​ˌvāt-​iv How to pronounce motivate (audio) \ adjective

Comments on motivate

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