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 motivations
  • Students should include the motivations that caused the movement of family members.
  • All had powerful personal motivations to make the initiative work.
  • Some of them have to do with your particular interests, capabilities, and motivations.
  • Especially considering that the rich get richer, every profession has financial motivations.
  • It is well recognized that infants have no awareness of their own state, emotions and motivations.
  • Given those motivations, printed money may well disappear in the future.
  • Non-teleological thinking isn't a choice for them so perhaps they are unable to understand other people's motivations.
  • Amazing, look at the science how they make snap decisions about the motivations of others without data or reasons to back it up.
  • Winning depended on speed, which reduced the time for reflection and concentrated on immediate responses and motivations.
  • But there are many other motivations for starting my own space, and those come into play too.
British Dictionary definitions for motivations


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 motivations



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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