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 motivative (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

The chase helped motivate her return to professional tennis after becoming a mother. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "Serena Williams Was on a Roll at Wimbledon. Simona Halep Stopped Her.," 13 July 2019 Conventional wisdom in Congress holds that only a member of the family can command the stature to unite squabbling party chieftains and motivate workers. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "It’s Game Over for the Gandhis as a Political Dynasty Dies," 11 July 2019 Perhaps less altruistically motivated, real estate brokers started calling, too, offering low rates. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Tech scene jumps to save ‘homeless’ startups after ThinkTank’s abrupt closure," 11 July 2019 The urge to beat the Soviets to the moon and prove U.S. technological superiority motivated Congress to devote almost 4.5 percent of the U.S. national budget to NASA at the peak of the space race in 1966. Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American, "Come One, Come All: Building a Moon Village," 10 July 2019 Authorities have not said what motivated Vakshouri to pose as these victims and attempt to have their applications withdrawn or canceled. Nicholas Rondinone, courant.com, "Feds: Las Vegas man stole identities, submitted false immigration documents," 9 July 2019 Our kickoff morning on Monday begins with an inspirational speaker that always leaves us moved and motivated. USA TODAY, "Florida conference helps grow networking, businesses for HR professionals," 9 July 2019 Weston Lakes is the latest community to benefit from the devotion to beautification and environmental education that has motivated Nancy Chancellor Case through the years. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Keep Texas Beautiful honors Weston Lakes woman," 8 July 2019 The hatchery is critical for maintaining spring chinook salmon runs in the Willamette River system and, thus, keeping anglers motivated and involved in wild-fish recovery efforts. oregonlive.com, "Monroe: Ocean fishing has vastly improved this summer," 6 July 2019

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

17 Jul 2019

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 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 motivative (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on motivate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with motivate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for motivate

Spanish Central: Translation of motivate

Nglish: Translation of motivate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of motivate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on motivate

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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