motivate

verb mo·ti·vate \ ˈmō-tə-ˌvāt \

Definition of motivate

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

motivative

play \-ˌvā-tiv\ adjective

motivator

play \-ˌvā-tər\ noun

Examples of motivate in a Sentence

  1. No one knows what motivated him to act in such a violent way.

Recent Examples of motivate from the Web

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.

First Known Use of motivate

1836


MOTIVATE Defined for English Language Learners

motivate

verb

Definition of motivate for English Language Learners

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

  • : to be a reason for (something)


MOTIVATE Defined for Kids

motivate

verb mo·ti·vate \ ˈmō-tə-ˌvāt \

Definition of motivate for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

motivate

transitive verb mo·ti·vate \ ˈmōt-ə-ˌvāt \

medical Definition of motivate

motivated; motivating
:to provide with a motive or serve as a motive for
  • motivate patients to change unhealthy lifestyles

motivative

play \-ˌvāt-iv\ adjective


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