motivation

noun

mo·​ti·​va·​tion ˌmō-tə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce motivation (audio)
1
a
: 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 warRichard Humble
The fear of failure was the motivation for his achievements.
motivational 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 However, this approach often overlooks a crucial aspect of human psychology: motivation. Hudson Garrett, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 While the motivation of the suspects is still unclear, Biden urged Congress to ban assault weapons, limit high-capacity magazines and strengthen background checks — three policies his administration has pushed for but been unable to convince Congress to pass. Daniel Desrochers, Kansas City Star, 15 Feb. 2024 Clear notes that many people know the basics but undervalue the power of reminders and consistent motivation to implement daily improvements. Alexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 14 Feb. 2024 The soldiers, ages 19 to 51 and mostly privates and a few officers, appeared to have several motivations for providing their accounts. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 The prosecutor’s obligation is to do justice in the case; that can be undermined by personal motivations. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 13 Feb. 2024 But cynical takes on Lopez’s motivations have dogged the entirety of her career. Stephen Rodrick, Variety, 13 Feb. 2024 The floor general for the No. 7 Hawks has leaned into that for motivation and took over Monday night as River Hill hosted No. 9 Long Reach. Jacob Steinberg, Baltimore Sun, 13 Feb. 2024 My album has given me the best memories in my own life, my whole life — my fans that came and enjoyed my album, that gave motivation and inspiration and heal with me — thank you so much. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 5 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'motivation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of motivation was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near motivation

Cite this Entry

“Motivation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivation. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

motivation

noun
mo·​ti·​va·​tion ˌmōt-ə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce motivation (audio)
1
a
: the act or process of motivating
b
: the condition of being motivated
2
: a motivating force or influence : incentive

Medical Definition

motivation

noun
mo·​ti·​va·​tion ˌmōt-ə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce motivation (audio)
1
a
: 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
motivational adjective
motivationally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on motivation

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