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[moh-tuh-veyt] /ˈmoʊ təˌveɪt/
verb (used with object), motivated, motivating.
to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.
Origin of motivate
1860-65; motive + -ate1
Related forms
motivator, noun
demotivate, verb (used with object), demotivated, demotivating.
demotivator, noun
nonmotivated, adjective
remotivate, verb (used with object), remotivated, remotivating.
unmotivated, adjective
unmotivating, adjective
well-motivated, adjective
induce, move, provoke, prompt, cause. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for unmotivated
  • But there is a line that when crossed an awful greyness is cast over the economy and the citizens become dull and unmotivated.
  • The slow or unmotivated can stay home or in their dorm and pretend to learn with their computers.
  • Oh, and we're admitting more students who are unprepared, unmotivated and have only a vague intention of getting a degree.
  • Incompetent government employees who are lazy and unmotivated represent a much larger problem for the future of healthcare.
  • Many adolescents whom professional school counselors regularly counsel are ambivalent and unmotivated to behavioral change.
  • Older struggling readers fall increasingly below their peers in academic achievement, and may become disengaged and unmotivated.
  • Without clear goals, students may be unmotivated and confused.
British Dictionary definitions for unmotivated


(transitive) to give incentive to
Derived Forms
motivator, noun
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 unmotivated

"lacking in motivation," by 1920, from un- (1) "not" + past participle of motivate. Meaning "lacking in motive" is attested from 1872.



1863, "to stimulate toward action," from motive + -ate (2); perhaps modeled on French motiver or German motivieren. Related: Motivated; motivating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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