motivate

verb
mo·ti·vate | \ˈmō-tə-ˌvāt \
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 \ adjective
motivator \ˈmō-tə-ˌvā-tər \ noun

Examples of motivate in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Hey, Texas Democrats: Gov. Abbott has a message for you Donald Trump or Beto O'Rourke: Who will motivate Texas Democrats more? Anna M. Tinsley, star-telegram, "Republicans to Texas Democrats: RIP," 22 June 2018 Each student was motivated by their own experiences or remembrances in creating their scientific innovation. Kitty Leshay, Courant Community, "Charles H. Barrows STEM Academy Students Headed To Michigan," 21 May 2018 In some cases, students are motivated enough to create programs without university assistance. Andrea Januta, The Christian Science Monitor, "US universities invest in student entrepreneurship," 10 May 2018 Yet angered, traumatized or otherwise motivated, hundreds of I-4 drivers were convinced the contractor was to be blamed for damages and pursued a claim despite difficulties involved. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "I-4 construction nightmares: Drivers seeking payment for car damage face daunting odds," 13 July 2018 But the biggest difference — perhaps surprisingly — wasn’t motivated by gender, but by political affiliation. Chuck Todd, NBC News, "Why the 'Year of the Woman' is all about Democrats," 3 July 2018 Some commenters suggested the interaction might have been racially motivated. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Delta attendant kicks passengers off plane over airplane mode dispute," 28 June 2018 Under those circumstances, the IG said, Strzok’s decision in October 2016 to focus on the Trump-Russia investigation to the exclusion of the Weiner laptop issue may have been motivated by political bias. Warren Richey, The Christian Science Monitor, "Inspector general on Comey: dissecting an error in judgment," 15 June 2018 Without proof that the new robotic install could be better, no one is motivated enough to try out alternative approaches. Matt Beane, WIRED, "Robots Won't Take Your Job—But They Might Make It Boring," 14 June 2018

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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Statistics for motivate

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for motivate

The first known use of motivate was in 1836

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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 \
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 \
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 \ adjective

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Comments on motivate

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