hidden, ulterior
good, strong

I'd say he had a very strong motive for wanting her dead.

altruistic, high, noble, pure

He was acting from the noblest of motives when he offered her money.

base (formal), selfish
evil, sinister
main, primary, prime
real, true
clear, obvious

There seemed to be no clear motive for the attack.


She was not sure what his underlying motives were.


We give aid to other countries with mixed motives.

economic, financial, political, racial (esp. BrE), religious
be inspired by (esp. BrE), have

She knew that he was inspired by base motives.

establish, find, find out, suggest

The police are still trying to establish a motive for the attack.


There must be something which provided a motive for these killings.

be suspicious of, examine, impugn (formal), question, suspect

He was suspicious of her motives in inviting him into the house.

She should examine her motives for marrying him.


We've become adept at hiding our true motives.


However you explain the motives behind his actions, he was still wrong.

know, see, understand

Everyone can see your true motives.

drive sb/sth

speculation that less noble motives were driving the country's foreign policy

motive in

What was their motive in setting fire to the building?

motive behind

There is no doubt about the motive behind it all.

motive for

There may be a hidden motive for his departure.

motive of

It it is clear that they were acting from motives of revenge.

a variety of motives

I did it for a variety of motives.

Collocations dictionary. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • motive — mo·tive n [Anglo French motif, from Middle French motif adjective, moving, from Medieval Latin motivus, from Latin motus, past participle of movēre to move]: something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act ◇ In criminal law, motive is …   Law dictionary

  • motivé — motivé, ée adj. Soutenu, stimulé par une motivation. ⇒MOTIVÉ, ÉE, part. passé et adj. I. Part. passé de motiver (v. ce mot I B). Suscité. Il y a bien des actes, de vilains actes motivés par de l argent (GONCOURT, Journal, 1895, p.740). II.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • motive# — motive n 1 Motive, spring, impulse, incentive, inducement, spur, goad all denote a stimulus inciting or prompting a person to act or behave in a definite way. Motive applies chiefly to such an emotion as fear, anger, hatred, or love or to a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Motive — may refer to: Contents 1 Criminal law 2 Creative or artistic work 3 Computing …   Wikipedia

  • Motive — Mo tive, n. [F. motif, LL. motivum, from motivus moving, fr. L. movere, motum, to move. See {Move}.] 1. That which moves; a mover. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. That which incites to action; anything prompting or exciting to choise, or moving… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Motive — Mo tive, a. Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power. Motive faculty. Bp. Wilkins. [1913 Webster] {Motive power} (Mach.), a natural agent, as water, steam, wind, electricity, etc., used to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Motive-e-s — Motivé e s Motivé e s est un mouvement politique français de gauche créé à Toulouse, à l initiative notamment de membres du groupe de musique Zebda. Réalisant un score de 12,49 % aux élections municipales de mars 2001 à Toulouse après une… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Motivé-e-s — est un mouvement politique français de gauche créé à Toulouse, à l initiative notamment de membres du groupe de musique Zebda. Réalisant un score de 12,49 % aux élections municipales de mars 2001 à Toulouse après une campagne médiatisée et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • motive — [mōt′iv] n. [ME motif < OFr motif (adj.) < ML motivus, moving < L motus, pp. of movere, to MOVE] 1. some inner drive, impulse, intention, etc. that causes a person to do something or act in a certain way; incentive; goal 2. MOTIF (sense… …   English World dictionary

  • Motive — Mo tive, v. t. To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • motive — motive, motivation See interpretation ; psychoanalysis ; sanction, social sanction ; vocabularies of motive …   Dictionary of sociology

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