People often need motivation to do tasks they'd prefer not to do. Do you work? Your motivation is your paycheck. Lost something? Finding it may provide motivation to tidy the house.

At the root of the word motivation is the word motive, which is similarly defined as the reason for a particular action. Although the words are synonyms, when it comes to criminal behavior, people generally ask about the motives leading to the criminal acts, not the motivation behind them. Other synonyms for motivation include inspiration and enthusiasm, so people tend to associate motivation with positive acts.

Definitions of motivation
  1. noun
    the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior
    “we did not understand his motivation
    synonyms: motive, need
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    a motive for living
    rational motive
    a motive that can be defended by reasoning or logical argument
    irrational motive
    a motivation that is inconsistent with reason or logic
    impulse, urge
    an instinctive motive
    ethical motive, ethics, morality, morals
    motivation based on ideas of right and wrong
    mental energy, psychic energy
    an actuating force or factor
    ground, reason
    a rational motive for a belief or action
    incentive, inducement, motivator
    a positive motivational influence
    deterrence, disincentive
    a negative motivational influence
    (psychology) an urge to withdraw or avoid a situation or an object
    (psychology) an urge to accept or approach a situation or an object
    Thanatos, death instinct, death wish
    (psychoanalysis) an unconscious urge to die
    irrational impulse
    a strong spontaneous and irrational motivation
    cacoethes, mania, passion
    an irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or action
    itchy feet, wanderlust
    very strong or irresistible impulse to travel
    compulsion, obsession
    an irrational motive for performing trivial or repetitive actions, even against your will
    the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of ethical principle
    conscience, moral sense, scruples, sense of right and wrong
    motivation deriving logically from ethical or moral principles that govern a person's thoughts and actions
    Christ Within, Inner Light, Light, Light Within
    a divine presence believed by Quakers to enlighten and guide the soul
    incitation, incitement, provocation
    something that incites or provokes; a means of arousing or stirring to action
    libidinal energy
    (psychoanalysis) psychic energy produced by the libido
    type of:
    psychological feature
    a feature of the mental life of a living organism
  2. noun
    the condition of being motivated
    “his motivation was at a high level”
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    type of:
    condition, status
    a state at a particular time
  3. noun
    the act of motivating; providing incentive
    synonyms: motivating
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    type of:
    act, deed, human action, human activity
    something that people do or cause to happen
Word Family

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