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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Motive


MO'TIVE, adjective [See the Noun.] Causing motion; having power to move or tending to move; as a motive argument; motive power.

MO'TIVE, noun

1. That which incites to action; that which determines the choice, or moves the will. Thus we speak of good motives, and bad motives; strong and weak motives. The motive to continue at rest is ease or satisfaction; the motive to change is uneasiness, or the prospect of good.

2. That which may or ought to incite to action; reason; cause.

3. A mover. [Not in use.]