- something that incites or tends to incite to action or greater effort, as a reward offered for increased productivity.
- inciting, as to action; stimulating; provocative.
Origin of incentive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for incentive
In addition, because House Democrats were cut out of the negotiations over the bill, they don't feel any incentive to play ball.Nancy Pelosi Plays Hardball On Cromnibus
December 11, 2014
As it stands, candidates do not have much of an incentive to come out in favor of same-sex marriage.Is Gay Marriage Going Away in 2016?
December 4, 2014
Until scholars and collectors stop buying, antiquities dealers have no incentive to stop selling.Dismembering History: The Shady Online Trade in Ancient Texts
November 23, 2014
This is an incentive to continue running in the interest of society.Mexico’s First Lady of Murder Is on the Lam
October 29, 2014
Of course, the incentive for the Gingrich team would be not to delete the phony accounts.Your Fake Followers Are Catfishing You: Bacon Mavens, Newt’s Fake Fans, and Other Social Media Scams
July 3, 2014
There was one incentive for taking her; it would please Mrs. Roberts.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
That's the only incentive you can suggest for spying, unconnected with my affairs?It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
He appreciated that Mary Philipse was the incentive that had put him where he was.
Instinct, I suppose; for now at last I 352 have an incentive.
Scarcely one seemed to possess the incentive to breathe a whisper.
- a motivating influence; stimulus
- an additional payment made to employees as a means of increasing production
- (as modifier)an incentive scheme
- serving to incite to action
Word Origin and History for incentive
early 15c., from Late Latin incentivum, noun use of neuter of Latin adjective incentivus "setting the tune" (in Late Latin "inciting"), from past participle stem of incinere "strike up," from in- "in, into" (see in- (2)) + canere "sing" (see chant (v.)). Sense influenced by association with incendere "to kindle." The adjective use, in reference to a system of rewards meant to encourage harder work, first attested 1943 in jargon of the U.S. war economy; as a noun, in this sense, from 1948.