[ moh-tuh-vey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: motivationmotivations on

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  1. something that motivates; inducement; incentive: Clearly, the company's long-term motivation is profit.

Origin of motivation

First recorded in 1870–75; motive + -ation

Other words for motivation

Other words from motivation

  • mo·ti·va·tion·al, adjective
  • mo·ti·va·tive [moh-tuh-vey-tiv], /ˈmoʊ təˌveɪ tɪv/, adjective
  • de·mo·ti·va·tion, noun
  • non·mo·ti·va·tion, noun
  • re·mo·ti·va·tion, noun

Words Nearby motivation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use motivation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for motivation


/ (ˌməʊtɪˈveɪʃən) /

  1. the act or an instance of motivating

  2. desire to do; interest or drive

  1. incentive or inducement

  2. psychol the process that arouses, sustains and regulates human and animal behaviour

Derived forms of motivation

  • 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