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 Still, many Republicans are unmoving and unforgiving, especially those who are running for office and see the issue as one that could motivate Republican voters to turn out in next year's midterm elections. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Sep. 2021 Still, many Republicans are unmoving and unforgiving, especially those who are running for office and see the issue as one that could motivate Republican voters to turn out in next year's midterm elections. Jill Colvin, ajc, 11 Sep. 2021 Still, many Republicans are unmoving and unforgiving, especially those who are running for office and see the issue as one that could motivate Republican voters to turn out in next year’s midterm elections. Jill Colvin, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Sep. 2021 The thing that may really motivate people to get those life-saving vaccines, Hotez said, is if the authorization paves the way for employers, businesses and schools to mandate vaccinations. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 24 Aug. 2021 That is the kind of self-talk that can motivate him. Mike Bass, The Enquirer, 19 Aug. 2021 The beliefs that really motivate some of your views about the world may become apparent today. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, 17 July 2021 Policy decisions, and the political priorities that motivate those decisions, can make a big difference in outcomes. Dan Weil, WSJ, 12 July 2021 The truth is that the ability to communicate visions that strongly motivate others to join us in pursuit of a goal has become the defining characteristic of the modern leader. Dan Bullock, Quartz, 6 July 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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Dictionary Entries Near motivate

motitation

motivate

motivated

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Statistics for motivate

Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Motivate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivate. Accessed 24 Sep. 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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