Definition of incentive in English:



  • 1A thing that motivates or encourages someone to do something.

    ‘give farmers an incentive to improve their land’
    • ‘The bill seeks to offer incentives for farmers to open their land for hunting.’
    • ‘One way to encourage children is to give them an incentive or reward if they do well in their exams.’
    • ‘Extra incentives will also be offered to childcare providers to encourage them to set up in areas of high need.’
    • ‘Without hunting, there would be less incentive for farmers to conserve wildlife habitat.’
    • ‘As well as the natural health benefits, the patient also gets motivation and incentives for better health.’
    • ‘Carnival organisers laid on extra incentives to make the event more attractive to entrants this time around.’
    • ‘Potential clients are lured into opening accounts with all sorts of gimmicks as incentives.’
    • ‘Since there really is no good reason for you buy this stuff I'm providing an incentive to do so.’
    • ‘Where's the incentive to improve things when everything is handed to them on a platter?’
    • ‘York residents are set to be offered incentives to encourage them to recycle more of their household waste.’
    • ‘If bad deeds are encouraged and condoned, this merely provides an incentive for them to multiply.’
    • ‘Success and failure are both the necessary incentives to learn and to grow.’
    • ‘Childcare grants are among a range of incentives geared at encouraging more parents to run for district council seats.’
    • ‘Perhaps they need the incentive of seeing the team improve and develop in other areas to sustain their effort.’
    • ‘Secondly, serious incentives need to be in place to encourage donations not only of money but also of property.’
    • ‘One problem is lack of incentive for employers - especially small employers - to take on apprentices.’
    • ‘This eliminates incentives for the political abuse of the courts and it makes the laws enforceable.’
    • ‘He said that this is an added incentive for farmers to make use of the facility.’
    • ‘What we would like to hear next is an improvement in incentives for teachers.’
    • ‘Customers finally have an incentive to actually test Linux and open source software.’
    inducement, motivation, motive, reason, stimulus, stimulant, spur, impetus, encouragement, impulse
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A payment or concession to stimulate greater output or investment.
      ‘tax incentives for investing in depressed areas’
      • ‘The $700,000 incentive package comprises tax refund credits and a grant payment program.’
      • ‘New tax incentives encourage the purchase of modern road vehicles and the repair of old ones.’
      • ‘The incentive payment falls to $3 million if the company is sold next year.’
      • ‘The contractor shared 40 percent of a $50 million incentive bonus with employees.’
      • ‘He said tax incentives to encourage people to have more children was one of the options which should be examined.’
      • ‘"We predict that there will be a big increase in cash incentives.’
      • ‘At Dickerson Employee Benefits, financial incentives are provided for those managers and employees who meet and exceed performance goals.’
      • ‘More than 70 higher education institutions have offered scholarship or cash incentives.’
      • ‘In addition to federal tax credits, California offered an additional state tax incentive for wind energy production.’
      • ‘Five years ago, they both opened special savings incentive accounts (SSIAs).’
      • ‘She said the cash incentive scheme had already had an effect on pupils' attendance.’
      • ‘The two-bedroom apartment has a price tag of £215,000 and there are Section 23 incentives for investors.’
      • ‘He said Government had designed very good investment incentives for people interested in investing in Zambia.’
      • ‘The government also gave generous tax incentives for investment.’
      • ‘The parties have averted their gaze from the cost of the government's special savings incentive scheme.’
      • ‘But with a new round of sales incentives in place, car buying is rebounding.’
      • ‘Employers have some very real market-based incentives to accommodate motherhood.’
      • ‘To improve its on-time arrival rates, further financial incentives were provided monthly.’
      • ‘If Britain was to accede to membership, these countries had a strong economic incentive to follow suit.’
      • ‘The Pentagon says the incentive package is worth $168 million over three years.’


Late Middle English: from Latin incentivum ‘something that sets the tune or incites’, from incantare ‘to chant or charm’.