Definitions of motive

  1. To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move.
  2. That which moves; a mover.
  3. That which incites to action; anything prompting or exciting to choise, or moving the will; cause; reason; inducement; object.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. That which urges to action; as, love of country is the motive that sends many men to war; reason.
  7. That which moves or excites to action: inducement: reason.
  8. causing movement.
  9. Inducement; reason.
  10. That which incites to action or determines the choice; inducement; the subject which a work of art respects, or the spiritual idea which pervades it. Motive force, the sum of force which tends to promote motion.
  11. That which actuates or influences; that which determines the choice; inducement; cause; reason; in art, that which produces conception, invention, or creation in the mind of the artist, when undertaking a subject.
  12. Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power.
  13. Causing action; as, steam is the motive power in the locomotive.
  14. Causing motion: having power to move.
  15. Causing motion; able or tending to move.