Definition of motivate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    motivate

     verb
    verb
    NAmE//ˈmoʊt̮əˌveɪt//
     
    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. 2 to 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
NAmE//ˌmoʊt̮əˈveɪʃn//
 
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.
motivational
 
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NAmE//ˌmoʊt̮əˈveɪʃənl//
 
adjective (formal) an important motivational factor
NAmE//ˈmoʊt̮əˌveɪt̮ər//
 
noun Desire for status can be a powerful motivator.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: motivate