Definitions for: Motive


[n] 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"
[n] a theme that is elaborated on in a piece of music



Webster (1913) Definition: Mo"tive, n. [F. motif, LL. motivum, from motivus
moving, fr. L. movere, motum, to move. See Move.]
1. That which moves; a mover. [Obs.] --Shak.

2. That which incites to action; anything prompting or
exciting to choise, or moving the will; cause; reason;
inducement; object.

By motive, I mean the whole of that which moves,
excites, or invites the mind to volition, whether
that be one thing singly, or many things
conjunctively. --J. Edwards.

3. (Mus.) The theme or subject; a leading phrase or passage
which is reproduced and varied through the course of a
comor a movement; a short figure, or melodic germ, out of
which a whole movement is develpoed. See also Leading
motive, under Leading. [Written also motivo.]

4. (Fine Arts) That which produces conception, invention, or
creation in the mind of the artist in undertaking his
subject; the guiding or controlling idea manifested in a
work of art, or any part of one.

Syn: Incentive; incitement; inducement; reason; spur;
stimulus; cause.

Usage: Motive, Inducement, Reason. Motive is the word
originally used in speaking of that which determines
the choice. We call it an inducement when it is
attractive in its nature. We call it a reason when it
is more immediately addressed to the intellect in the
form of argument.


Mo"tive, a.
Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as,
a motive argument; motive power. ``Motive faculty.'' --Bp.
Wilkins.

Motive power (Mach.), a natural agent, as water, steam,
wind, electricity, etc., used to impart motion to
machinery; a motor; a mover.


Mo"tive, v. t.
To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move.

Synonyms: motif, motivation, need

See Also: ethical motive, ethics, idea, impulse, irrational motive, life, melodic theme, mental energy, morality, morals, musical theme, obbligato, obligato, psychic energy, psychological feature, rational motive, theme, urge

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