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 But too many bans could drive extremists to spend more time on their own platforms — and in an increasingly toxic environment of hate that could motivate violent attacks. Ben Sales, sun-sentinel.com, "Report: Online anti-Semitism partly driven by Russian trolls," 16 Dec. 2020 Without an opportunity to throw the lavish Christmas parties that typically motivate such buyers to get their trees early, Tempesta worried that this year might be a bust. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "Have Yourself a Million Little Christmases," 16 Dec. 2020 City and county officials continue to look for ways to motivate more compliance, and the Hillsborough County commission last month said that only people who are seated and eating or drinking in indoor bars or restaurants can remove their masks. Phil Galewitz, USA TODAY, "Tampa mayor battled Florida governor over COVID-19 issues in build-up to Super Bowl 55," 28 Jan. 2021 The following findings about COVID-19 motivate these mandates and recommendations. Anchorage Daily News, "Read the full text of Anchorage’s emergency order loosening business restrictions," 28 Jan. 2021 That’s how Christopher Werler, 50, a marketing consultant from Monterey, Calif., found a way to motivate himself to exercise. Washington Post, "Health and wellness coaches are fairly new. Here’s what you need to know about them.," 22 Dec. 2020 These findings suggest that a way to motivate more people to follow health guidelines is to appeal to their economic well-being. Jocelyn Bélanger, Scientific American, "What Motivates COVID Rule Breakers?," 9 Dec. 2020 Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is back for his second game after five weeks off and Tigers coach Dabo Swinney somehow constantly finds new ways to motivate his team based on the tired cliche that their team never gets any respect. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Epic Alabama beatdown awaits LSU," 3 Dec. 2020 Superheroes also rarely sit still in the face of loss: Significant deaths usually motivate them into action. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Real Villain of WandaVision," 16 Jan. 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

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Motivate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivate. Accessed 3 Mar. 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

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Comments on motivate

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