Synonyms and Antonyms of motive

  1. 1 a major object of interest or concern (as in a discussion or artistic composition) the principal motive of the piece was introduced in the flute section Synonyms content, motif, matter, question, subject, theme, topicRelated Words subject matter; talking point; count, idea, point, purpose; consideration, issue, problem; body, bulk, burden, centerpiece, core, crux, essence, fundamental, generality, gist, grist, heart, kernel, keynote, main, marrow, mass, net, nub, nubbin, nucleus, pith, pivot, purport, quick, staple, substance, sum; basis; bottom, essential, essentiality; affair, argument, debateNear Antonyms aside, digression, excursion, interjection, parenthesis, tangent

  2. 2 a unit of decoration that is repeated all over something (as a fabric) decorated with a paisley motive Synonyms design, figure, motif, patternRelated Words scheme; device; adornment, caparison, decoration, embellishment, frill, garnish, ornament, trim

  3. 3 something (as a belief) that serves as the basis for another thing the detective felt that the first suspect didn't have any motive for committing the crime Synonyms account, authority, grounds, reason, subject, wherefore, whyRelated Words antecedent, cause, consideration, impetus, incentive, inspiration, instigation, occasion, stimulus

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