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[in-sen-ti-vahyz] /ɪnˈsɛn tɪˌvaɪz/
verb (used with object), incentivized, incentivizing.
to give incentives to:
The government should incentivize the private sector to create jobs.
Also, incent [in-sent] /ɪnˈsɛnt/ (Show IPA).
Origin of incentivize
1965-70, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for incent
  • The market doesn't pay people what they are worth and what they need to incent them to work.
  • Now, one might say that this is good because it will incent them to find more oil.
  • He wants to incent homeowners to retrofit their homes to become more energy efficient.
  • Politically, the more palatable solution is to incent companies to hire with tax credits.
  • State policy, both in terms of taxes and finance, should be examined to help stimulate and incent growth in this fashion.
British Dictionary definitions for incent


  1. to provide (someone) with a good reason for wanting to do something: why not incentivize companies to relocate?
  2. to promote (something) with a particular incentive: an incentivized share option scheme
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 incent

by 1992, U.S. government-speak, back-formation from incentive. Related: Incented; incenting.



by 1970, from incentive + -ize. Related: Incentivized; incentivizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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