A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for motivational
  • Bond is a travel expert, spokesperson and motivational speaker.
  • Any innate influences on behavior operate within individuals, mainly at the perceptual and motivational levels.
  • He is always the favorite in closest-to-the-pin contests at resort-hotel motivational conferences.
  • It was a big win, in a big way, the kind of motivational factor that can decide an outcome down the stretch.
  • Once he accepts the inevitable and returns to the motivational speaking circuit, he will do fine.
  • Meanwhile, these guys have limited intellectual and motivational resources, yet they are getting a free ride.
  • The ability to fire is not the primary motivational tool for working professionals.
  • Bitterness may be motivational for adolescents, but it's utterly unsustainable for adults.
  • The usual cognitive and motivational processes that steer behavior in socially desirable paths no longer guide people.
  • But as a framework for many people, and as tool to inspire them, its motivational abilities are without question.
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 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 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
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