American English

Definition of motivate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they motivate
    he / she / it motivates
    past simple motivated
    -ing form motivating
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  1. 1[often passive] motivate somebody to be the reason why someone does something or behaves in a particular way He is motivated entirely by self-interest.
  2. 2to make someone want to do something, especially something that involves hard work and effort motivate somebody She's very good at motivating her students. motivate somebody to do something The plan is designed to motivate employees to work more efficiently.
adjective a racially motivated attack a highly motivated student (= one who is very interested and works hard) opposite unmotivated
noun [countable, uncountable] What is the motivation behind this sudden change? Most people said that pay was their main motivation for working. He's intelligent enough but he lacks motivation.
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adjective (formal) an important motivational factor
noun Desire for status can be a powerful motivator.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: motivate