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motive
used in In Cold Blood

21 uses
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1  —6 uses as in:
What is her motive?
Definition
a reason for doing something
  • The crime, clueless and apparently motiveless, had taken place Saturday night, December19, at the Walker home, on a cattle-raising ranch not far from Tallahassee.
    3 — Answer (46% in)
  • For Dewey, himself a former sheriff of Finney County (from 1947 to 1955) and, prior to that, a Special Agent of the F.B.I. (between 1940 and 1945 he had served in New Orleans, in San Antonio, in Denver, in Miami, and in San Francisco), was professionally qualified to cope with even as intricate an affair as the apparently motiveless, all but clueless Clutter murders.
    2 — Persons Unknown (4% in)
  • The 'sane' murderer is thought of as acting upon rational motives that can be understood, though condemned, and the 'insane' one as being driven by irrational senseless motives.
    4 — The Corner (51% in)
  • The 'sane' murderer is thought of as acting upon rational motives that can be understood, though condemned, and the 'insane' one as being driven by irrational senseless motives.
    4 — The Corner (51% in)
  • When rational motives are conspicuous (for example, when a man kills for personal gain) or when the irrational motives are accompanied by delusions or hallucinations (for example, a paranoid patient who kills his fantasied persecutor), the situation presents little problem to the psychiatrist.
    4 — The Corner (51% in)
  • When rational motives are conspicuous (for example, when a man kills for personal gain) or when the irrational motives are accompanied by delusions or hallucinations (for example, a paranoid patient who kills his fantasied persecutor), the situation presents little problem to the psychiatrist.
    4 — The Corner (51% in)

There are no more uses of "motive" flagged with this meaning in In Cold Blood.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
?  —15 uses
exact meaning not specified
  • Moreover, the circumstances of the crime seem to him to fit exactly the concept of "murder without apparent motive."
    4 — The Corner (55% in)
  • He was here, and embarked on the present errand, not because he wished to be but because fate had arranged the matter; he could prove it-though he had no intention of doing so, at least within Dick's hearing, for the proof would involve his confessing the true and secret motive behind his return to Kansas, a piece of parole violation he had decided upon for a reason quite unrelated to Dick's "score" or Dick's summoning letter.
    1 — Last To See Them Alive (55% in)
  • Several murderers, or men who boasted of murder or their willingness to commit it, circulated inside Lansing; but Dick became convinced that Perry was that rarity, "a natural killer"-absolutely sane, but conscienceless, and capable of dealing, with or without motive, the coldest-blooded deathblows.
    1 — Last To See Them Alive (73% in)
  • Well, she was wearing some jewelry, two rings-which is one of the reasons why I've always discounted robbery as a motive-and a robe, and a white nightgown, and white socks.
    1 — Last To See Them Alive (84% in)
  • Death, brutal and without apparent motive..."), produced in the average recipient a reaction nearer that of Mother Truitt than that of Mrs. Clare: amazement, shading into dismay; a shallow horror sensation that cold springs of personal fear swiftly deepened.
    1 — Last To See Them Alive (94% in)
  • Dewey himself, did not believe the boy had "anything to do with it"; still, it was true that at this early stage of the investigation, Bobby was the only person to whom a motive, however feeble, could be attributed.
    2 — Persons Unknown (9% in)
  • Here and there in the diary, Nancy referred to the situation that was supposed to have created the motive: her father's insistence that she and Bobby "break off," stop "seeing so much of each other," his objection being that the Clutters were Methodist, the Rupps Catholic-a circumstance that in his view completely canceled any hope the young couple might have of one day marrying.
    2 — Persons Unknown (10% in)
  • "Unless it was robbery," said Nye, though robbery as the motive had been much discussed and then more or less dismissed.
    2 — Persons Unknown (12% in)
  • Headlined Clues are few in slaying of 4 , the article, which was a follow-up of the previous day's initial announcement of the murders, ended with a summarizing paragraph: The investigators are left faced with a search for a killer or killers whose cunning is apparent if his (or their) motive is not.
    2 — Persons Unknown (16% in)
  • Acted without a motive, if you care to discount an abortive robbery attempt, which the investigators are wont to do.
    2 — Persons Unknown (16% in)
  • Taken together, these discoveries forced Dewey to consider again the possibility of "plain robbery" as a motive.
    2 — Persons Unknown (33% in)
  • The expert execution of the crimes was proof enough that at least one of the pair commanded an immoderate amount of cool-headed slyness, and was-must be-a person too clever to have done such a deed without calculated motive.
    2 — Persons Unknown (34% in)
  • The motive being a psychopathic hatred, or possibly a combination of hatred and thievery, and he believed that the commission of the murders had been a leisurely labor, with perhaps two or more hours elapsing between the entrance of the killers and their exit.
    2 — Persons Unknown (97% in)
  • Investigating officials admit they can discover no motive for the crime, termed by Logan Sanford, Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, as the most vicious in the history of Kansas.
    3 — Answer (1% in)
  • Dr. Satten, who afterward gave the case close attention, suggests that though the crime would not have occurred except for a certain frictional interplay between the perpetrators, it was essentially the act of Perry Smith, who, he feels, represents a type of murderer described by him in an article: "Murder Without Apparent Motive-A Study in Personality Disorganization."
    4 — The Corner (51% in)

There are no more uses of "motive" in In Cold Blood.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
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