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90s Slang You Should Know


[moh-tuh-vey-shuh n] /ˌmoʊ təˈveɪ ʃən/
the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way:
I don't understand what her motivation was for quitting her job.
the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something:
We know that these students have strong motivation to learn.
something that motivates; inducement; incentive:
Clearly, the company's long-term motivation is profit.
Origin of motivation
First recorded in 1870-75; motive + -ation
Related forms
motivational, adjective
motivative, adjective
antimotivational, adjective
demotivation, noun
nonmotivation, noun
nonmotivational, adjective
remotivation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for motivation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • According to our assumption they must be incapable of telling us anything about it since this motivation is unconscious to them.

    Totem and Taboo Sigmund Freud
  • The law of motivation is, like all causality, merely the form of the phenomenon.

  • The obscurity of motivation in this tale makes apparent the extensive revision that it has undergone.

    The Grateful Dead Gordon Hall Gerould
  • What can act as a source for their motivation, for the strength they have lost?

  • Nevertheless he was the basis, the motivation second only to mine.

    Question of Comfort Les Collins
British Dictionary definitions for motivation


the act or an instance of motivating
desire to do; interest or drive
incentive or inducement
(psychol) the process that arouses, sustains and regulates human and animal behaviour
Derived Forms
motivational, adjective
motivative, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for motivation

1873, from motivate + -ion. Psychological use, "inner or social stimulus for an action," is from 1904.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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