verb (used with object), mo·tived, mo·tiv·ing.
Origin of motive
Synonyms for motive
Related Words for motivelessgratuitous, unjust, needless, senseless, vicious, unjustified, arbitrary, willful, unjustifiable, unprovoked, contrary, evil, mean, aimless, desultory, empty, feckless, fustian, good-for-nothing, haphazard
Examples from the Web for motiveless
Historical Examples of motiveless
Iago's soliloquy, the motive-hunting of a motiveless malignity—how awful it is!Familiar Quotations
She had moods of motiveless irritation, and of unreasonable indulgence.The Son of Monte Christo
To its existence is often to be traced the motiveless crimes of the young.'Lady Byron Vindicated
Harriet Beecher Stowe
This duplicity was not motiveless, although, on a cursory view, its purpose may not be apparent.Hildebrand
Nor is it a caprice, that is, motiveless volition, or will as a motor.The Religious Sentiment
Daniel G. Brinton
Word Origin for motive
mid-14c., "something brought forward," from Old French motif "will, drive, motivation," noun use of adjective, literally "moving," from Medieval Latin motivus "moving, impelling," from Latin motus "a moving, motion," past participle of movere "to move" (see move (v.)). Meaning "that which inwardly moves a person to behave a certain way" is from early 15c.
late 14c., from Old French motif "moving" or directly from Medieval Latin motivus "moving, impelling," from past participle stem of movere "to move" (see move (v.)).