[moh-tuh-vey-shuh n]


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 formsmo·ti·va·tion·al, adjectivemo·ti·va·tive, adjectivean·ti·mo·ti·va·tion·al, adjectivede·mo·ti·va·tion, nounnon·mo·ti·va·tion, nounnon·mo·ti·va·tion·al, adjectivere·mo·ti·va·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for motivational

Contemporary Examples of motivational

Historical Examples of motivational

  • Fancy packaging designed by some of the most competent commercial artists and motivational research men in the country.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • It has deprived the groups of their cohesion and the individual of his motivational drive.

British Dictionary definitions for motivational



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 Formsmotivational, adjectivemotivative, 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

Word Origin and History for motivational

1931, from motivation + -al (1).



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper