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

And, moreover, what motivated the inclusion of a provision that incentivizes players ratting each other out? 5. Jenny Vrentas, SI.com, "For Many NFL Players, Summer Doesn't Bring Much of a Break," 9 July 2018 Smitherman said Bauman's accusations may be politically motivated. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "'Gang of 5' not only Cincinnati council members sending secret texts, motion says," 5 July 2018 All of that frustration is really what motivated me personally to take an interest in the book. Hope Reese, Longreads, "A Person Alone: Leaning Out with Ottessa Moshfegh," 5 July 2018 But the concerns being raised about insecticides motivated them to look into whether there might be a connection between the two. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Glyphosate is safe, but some scientists still question how we regulate it," 5 June 2018 Read their inspiring stories ahead and what motivates them to keep going. Jessica Militare, Glamour, "Meet Glamour's 2018 College Women of the Year," 4 June 2018 Most migrants are motivated more by their miserable circumstances back home than the prospect of an easy life in America. The Economist, "A cruel and unusual border policy," 2 June 2018 Is that what motivated you to get going on it finally? Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "Exclusive Q&A: Dale Jr.’s only fear while making home renovation show? Losing money.," 30 May 2018 Anwar, 70, has denied the charges, saying they are politically motivated. Anisah Shukry, Bloomberg.com, "Your Guide to Malaysia's Upcoming General Election," 7 May 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

11 Sep 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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