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Definition a reason for doing something

Less commonly, motive can refer to something that causes motion in an inanimate object. Even less commonly, it can refer to a distinctive feature in music, art, or literature.
  • She believes the profit motive encourages people to satisfy other people's needs.
motive = reason (for doing something)
  • Detectives will be interested since she had the ability, motive, and opportunity to commit the murder.
  • A desire for religious freedom was their motive for leaving England.
  • motive = reason
  • Authorities asked that journalist not jump to conclusions while awaiting an investigation of the motive for the shooting.
  • Snowden said his sole motive was to inform the public.
  • Now tell me why we cling to power. What is our motive?
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • motive = reason (for doing something)
  • Armstrong said: "And the motive?"
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • motive = reason (for doing something)
  • Mr. Jamison allowed Papa and Uncle Hammer several moments to search for a motive behind his masklike face.
    Mildred D. Taylor  --  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • motive = reason (for doing something)
  • I have a motive of which, be sure, she would have approved.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • motive = reason (for doing something)
  • The murderer had to have a motive.
    Ellen Raskin  --  The Westing Game
  • motive = reason (for doing something)
  • My thoughts now became more active, and I longed to discover the motives and feelings of these lovely creatures; I was inquisitive to know why Felix appeared so miserable and Agatha so sad.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • motives = reasons for doing things
  • I must not be understood affirming that, in the dressing up of the tale, and imagining the motives and modes of passion that influenced the characters who figure in it, I have invariably confined myself within the limits of the old Surveyor's half-a-dozen sheets of foolscap.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • motives = reasons for doing things
  • I, Van Helsing, with all my purpose and with my motive for hate.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • motive = reason (for doing something)
  • There was certainly no motive.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • motive = reason (for doing something)
  • The story is too connected to be mistaken for a dream, and I have no motive for falsehood.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • motive = reason (for doing something)
  • You could grasp the mechanics of the Society you lived in, but not its underlying motives.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • motives = reasons for what it does
  • The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • motives = reasons for doing what they did
  • This motive really consists...
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • motive = reason (for doing something)
  • He paused, realizing for the first time the vagueness of his own motives.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • motives = reasons for doing something
  • These motives urged me to comply with his demand.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
motives = reasons for doing something

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