What is another word for motive?

Synonyms for motive
ˈmoʊ tɪvmo·tive

This thesaurus page is about all possible synonyms, equivalent, same meaning and similar words for the term motive.


  1. motiveadjective

    motif, motivate, motional, moving, motivation

  2. motivenoun

    An incentive to act; a reason for doing something; anything that prompted a choice of action.

    moving, motivation, motif, motional, motivate

  3. motivenoun

    Relating to motion and/or to its cause

    If you listen carefully, you can hear the flutes mimicking the cello motive.

    motivation, motif, moving, motional

English Synonyms and Antonyms

  1. motive

    The efficient cause, that which makes anything to be or be done, is the common meaning of the word, as in the saying "There is no effect without a cause." Every man instinctively recognizes himself acting through will as the cause of his own actions. The Creator is the Great First Cause of all things. A condition is something that necessarily precedes a result, but does not produce it. An antecedent simply precedes a result, with or without any agency in producing it; as, Monday is the invariable antecedent of Tuesday, but not the cause of it. The direct antonym of cause is effect, while that of antecedent is consequent. An occasion is some event which brings a cause into action at a particular moment; gravitation and heat are the causes of an avalanche; the steep incline of the mountain-side is a necessary condition, and the shout of the traveler may be the occasion of its fall. Causality is the doctrine or principle of causes, causation the action or working of causes. Compare DESIGN; REASON.

    actor, agent, antecedent, author, causality, causation, cause, condition, creator, designer, former, fountain, occasion, origin, originator, power, precedent, reason, reason, source, spring

    consequence, creation, development, effect, end, end, event, fruit, issue, outcome, outgrowth, product, result

    The cause of the disaster; cause for interference.

Complete Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms

  1. motive

    inducement, purpose, design, prompting, stimulus, reason, impulse, incitement

    execution, action, effort, deed, attempt, project, preventive, deterrent, dissuasive

Princeton's WordNet

  1. motivation, motive, neednoun

    the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior

    "we did not understand his motivation"; "he acted with the best of motives"

    indigence, need, motivating, demand, pauperization, want, motivation, pauperism, motif, penury

    noncausal, noncausative

  2. motif, motivenoun

    a theme that is repeated or elaborated in a piece of music

    motivation, motif, need, theme

    noncausal, noncausative

  3. motif, motiveadjective

    a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration

    motivation, motif, need, theme

    noncausal, noncausative

  4. motive(a), motoradjective

    causing or able to cause motion

    "a motive force"; "motive power"; "motor energy"

    noncausative, noncausal

  5. motivative(a), motive(a), motivatingadjective

    impelling to action

    "it may well be that ethical language has primarily a motivative function"- Arthur Pap; "motive pleas"; "motivating arguments"

    noncausal, noncausative

Matched Categories

Synonyms, Antonyms & Associated Words

  1. motivenoun

    incentive, inducement, incitement

PPDB, the paraphrase database

  1. List of paraphrases for "motive":

    motivation, mobile, reason, ground, incentive, motif

How to pronounce motive?

How to say motive in sign language?

Words popularity by usage frequency


How to use motive in a sentence?

  1. Sanowar Khan:

    There was no ulterior motive behind his act.

  2. Ehsan Sehgal:

    Such friendship and relationship, stay durable and stable if that holds love and sincerity; conversely, if that motivates the motive and insincerity, results in nothing than failure.

  3. Margaret Fuller:

    There are two modes of criticism. One which crushes to earth without mercy all the humble buds of Phantasy, all the plants that, though green and fruitful, are also a prey to insects or have suffered by drought. It weeds well the garden, and cannot believe the weed in its native soil may be a pretty, graceful plant. There is another mode which enters into the natural history of every thing that breathes and lives, which believes no impulse to be entirely in vain, which scrutinizes circumstances, motive and object before it condemns, and believes there is a beauty in natural form, if its law and purpose be understood.

  4. Jasvinder Kaur:

    While we do n’t yet know the motive of the shooter, he targeted a facility known to be heavily populated by Sikh employees.

  5. Lawrence Goldstone:

    In criminal cases, motive and intent is everything. Why not here ?

Translations for motive

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"motive." Synonyms.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Jun 2022. <https://www.synonyms.com/synonym/motive>.

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