Definition of what makes someone tick in English:

what makes someone tick

phrase

informal
  • What motivates someone.

    ‘people are curious to know what makes these men tick’
    • ‘In evaluating anyone's ability, I look at what kind of person they are first, try to find out what makes them tick, their ambitions, what switches them on.’
    • ‘We're good at finding out about people, what makes them tick, what they are interested in, what they have bees in their bonnets about - a key networking skill.’
    • ‘You come to a place in your life, though, where you really learn what makes you tick as an actress.’
    • ‘They need work that allows them to develop deep one to one relationships with people, letting them understand others and discover what makes them tick.’
    • ‘I'd like the opportunity to find out a bit what they were like as people, what makes them tick, and, you know, enjoy their company.’
    • ‘I get a thrill when I can get into the male psyche and learn about what makes them tick.’
    • ‘It's been a joy to play Kate and to delve into what makes her tick: love, patience and a huge sense of humour.’
    • ‘No one really knows how these people think, what makes them tick, and which of the five contenders stirs their blood.’
    • ‘Get in the head of each person, find out what makes them tick.’
    • ‘He knows his people, what makes them tick - and why - as a result of encouraging them to talk, drawing them out and asking questions.’
    • ‘His son-in-law once said to him, ‘I have asked myself what makes you tick.’’