motivation

noun
mo·​ti·​va·​tion | \ ˌmō-tə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce motivation (audio) \

Definition of motivation

1a : the act or process of motivating Some students need motivation to help them through school.
b : the condition of being motivated employees who lack motivation
2 : a motivating force, stimulus, or influence : incentive, drive the Old Testament heroes added religious motivation to the waging of war— Richard Humble The fear of failure was the motivation for his achievements.

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Other Words from motivation

motivational \ ˌmō-​tə-​ˈvā-​shnəl How to pronounce motivation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
motivationally adverb

Examples of motivation in a Sentence

Some students need motivation to help them through school. Many people have questioned her motivations in choosing to run for office at this time.
Recent Examples on the Web That may be a bit harsh, but there undoubtedly is a troubling lack of motivation with this team. Chris Grenham, Forbes, "How Should The Boston Celtics Approach The Trade Deadline?," 19 Mar. 2021 But Herman insisted that there’s no lack of motivation from the team despite not reaching its postseason goals. Marcus Krum, Dallas News, "Tom Herman says Texas LB Juwan Mitchell intends to return in 2021," 28 Dec. 2020 Marion Nestle, a professor emeriti of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, offered a slightly less sunny reading of the industry's motivation for seeking the change. Star Tribune, "After regulating it 70 years, FDA wants out of French dressing game," 26 Dec. 2020 Alison Bateman-House, an assistant professor of medical ethics at NYU, said not everyone plying their connections for a shot is doing it out of purely selfish motivation. Laura J. Nelson, oregonlive, "Wealthy patients scramble for COVID-19 vaccine: ‘If I donate $25,000 ... would that help me?’," 18 Dec. 2020 That suit, announced just two weeks before Election Day, brought accusations of political motivation from some quarters. Marcy Gordon And Michael R. Sisak, The Christian Science Monitor, "Over 40 US states and FTC sue Facebook for antitrust conduct," 10 Dec. 2020 The Justice Department's suit against Google, announced just two weeks before Election Day, brought accusations of political motivation from some quarters. Arkansas Online, "U.S. government, states sue Facebook for 'predatory' conduct," 9 Dec. 2020 The gilets jaunes, or yellow vest movement, is a large part of police motivation to seek broader powers. Chris Massaro, Fox News, "France struggles with systemic racism and new security law as protests rock country," 5 Dec. 2020 Exocet's Impact Part of the Navy's motivation can be read in the grisly headlines that have followed the sea skirmishes of the past decade. Abe Dane, Popular Mechanics, "Remembering the Sea Shadow, America's 'Invisible Warship'," 3 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'motivation.' 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 motivation

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for motivation

Time Traveler

The first known use of motivation was in 1873

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Statistics for motivation

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Motivation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivation. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for motivation

motivation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of motivation

: the act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something : the act or process of motivating someone
: the condition of being eager to act or work : the condition of being motivated
: a force or influence that causes someone to do something

motivation

noun
mo·​ti·​va·​tion | \ ˌmōt-ə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce motivation (audio) \

Medical Definition of motivation

1a : the act or process of motivating
b : the condition of being motivated
2 : a motivating force, stimulus, or influence (as a drive or incentive) lacks the motivation to lose weight

Other Words from motivation

motivational \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce motivation (audio) \ adjective
motivationally \ -​ē How to pronounce motivation (audio) \ adverb

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