Definition of motivate in English:



  • 1Provide (someone) with a reason for doing something.

    ‘he was primarily motivated by the desire for profit’
    • ‘The judge, Mr Justice Wakerley, said he was sentencing them on the basis that the attack was not racially motivated.’
    • ‘He was not motivated by greed but by a desire to do something heroic, smash a drugs ring and present the evidence to police.’
    • ‘He was partly motivated by his desire to protect his two-year-old son from the ills of global capitalism.’
    • ‘The desire for peer approval and acceptance can motivate young women to act in healthy or hurtful ways, either individually or in groups.’
    • ‘So what motivates consumers to drive further and spend more for local meat?’
    • ‘No, they hope that voters are motivated from rank envy, the desire to bring down those who have it better than they do.’
    • ‘It motivates people to lead better lives, and can provide a vision of humanity that enriches the lives of believers.’
    • ‘But the fact that our civilization and our children's futures are under attack is what motivates us, more than anything, to stand up for the cause of freedom.’
    • ‘What motivates him is a desire both to save money on trials, and secure more convictions.’
    • ‘Those who know him well insist that he is genuinely motivated by a desire to make people better.’
    • ‘However, John Paul was motivated by more than the desire for a free Polish state.’
    • ‘The most common reason motivating women to take hormone replacement therapy is the relief of menopausal symptoms.’
    • ‘Fear motivates us to drive cautiously even when in a great hurry, and fear makes a diabetic adhere to his diet and take his insulin daily.’
    • ‘No single reason motivates young men and women to enlist in the armed forces, but a great many do it because they believe they will obtain job training and financial aid for college.’
    • ‘At the same time, he is motivated by a keen desire to see the raising of Scotland's international profile.’
    • ‘He was motivated, he said, by a desire to build a new, corruption-free Pakistan, not by personal ambition.’
    • ‘The constant need for money to buy drugs and increase business also motivates dealers to find vulnerable victims who can provide quick cash.’
    • ‘If patients are to be expected to take part in research for altruistic reasons they have a right to know what reasons motivate the people carrying out the research.’
    • ‘He was genuinely motivated by a desire to assist them in achieving an end to their dispute.’
    • ‘It matters little that you do not think you are racially motivated.’
    prompt, drive, move, inspire, stimulate, influence, lead, persuade, actuate, activate, impel, push, propel, spur, spur on
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Cause (someone) to have interest in or enthusiasm for something.
      ‘it is the teacher's job to motivate the child at school’
      • ‘Might they say you are highly skilled in terms of motivating your students, in keeping them excited?’
      • ‘She was just a very successful headteacher who motivated the children with her enthusiasm.’
      • ‘It is my responsibility to motivate volunteers and provide them with the tools required to do their jobs successfully.’
      • ‘What separates exceptional leaders from ordinary leaders is the ability to inspire and motivate employees.’
      • ‘But even that will do little to motivate employees if the job feels like a dead end.’
      • ‘Centres seemed to be generally well managed, and at most sites staff were well motivated and enthusiastic about their new roles.’
      • ‘As humans we can excel if we are motivated and given encouragement and the right kind of training.’
      • ‘Your interest can motivate her to stay on and take exams.’
      • ‘The guy wins games, galvanizes alumni and motivates players to perform beyond their abilities.’
      • ‘He provides customised training, designed to motivate staff and help them achieve peak performance.’
      • ‘These learning centers, for example, have had great success in motivating children to study, and psychological techniques are also used with more or less success in many conventional schools.’
      • ‘You must be able to motivate people, and be capable of providing training wherever necessary.’
      • ‘Finding out through experience what career options exist within the profession would motivate students to study.’
      • ‘Organization is a huge part of the job, but motivating players is bigger.’
      • ‘But to be truthful it is very dull at the moment and it's a real job to motivate myself to study.’
      • ‘Basically, team members are highly motivated, as has been demonstrated on several occasions.’
      • ‘However, one of the main reasons behind this particular course, was to motivate the children as regards to school attendance and classroom work.’
      • ‘He understands how to motivate writers, how to inspire them.’
      • ‘I almost feel as if the higher course load actually motivated me to study more.’
      • ‘‘She has certainly done an outstanding job of organizing and motivating people and thinking of details and taking care of those details,’ he said.’
      • ‘And at 65, he still thinks and acts like a youngster with boundless energy and enthusiasm motivating people like him to ‘stay young and help each other’.’
      • ‘He's surrounded by a talented and highly motivated team led by crew chief John Stewart.’
      • ‘The biggest difficulty you have in this job is not to motivate the players but to get them relaxed enough to express their talent.’
      inspire, stimulate, encourage, spur, spur on, galvanize, arouse, rouse, excite, stir, stir up, fire with enthusiasm, fire the imagination of
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  • 2South African Request (something) and present facts and arguments in support of one's request.

    ‘he said he would motivate funds to upgrade the food stalls’
    • ‘He motivated his request by telling me that neither trust had any assets and that they served no purpose any longer.’
    • ‘Applicants must appear before an administrative body to motivate their application for the license.’
    • ‘Members of Navachab's management team were instrumental in motivating the project to the Fund.’