1. motivation, motive, need, psychological feature

usage: 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"

2. motif, motive, theme, melodic theme, musical theme, idea

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

3. motif, motive, design, pattern, figure

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


1. motive(prenominal), motor, causative (vs. noncausative)

usage: causing or able to cause motion; "a motive force"; "motive power"; "motor energy"

2. motivative(prenominal), motive(prenominal), motivating, causative (vs. noncausative)

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

WordNet 3.0 Copyright © 2006 by Princeton University.
All rights reserved.

See also: motive (Dictionary)