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2 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Mo·tive n.
 1. That which moves; a mover. [Obs.]
 2. That which incites to action; anything prompting or exciting to choise, or moving the will; cause; reason; inducement; object; motivation2.
    By motive, I mean the whole of that which moves, excites, or invites the mind to volition, whether that be one thing singly, or many things conjunctively.   --J. Edwards.
 3. Mus. The theme or subject; a leading phrase or passage which is reproduced and varied through the course of a comor a movement; a short figure, or melodic germ, out of which a whole movement is develpoed. See also Leading motive, under Leading. [Written also motivo.]
 4. Fine Arts That which produces conception, invention, or creation in the mind of the artist in undertaking his subject; the guiding or controlling idea manifested in a work of art, or any part of one.
 Syn: -- Incentive; incitement; inducement; reason; spur; stimulus; cause.
 Usage: -- Motive, Inducement, Reason. Motive is the word originally used in speaking of that which determines the choice.  We call it an inducement when it is attractive in its nature.  We call it a reason when it is more immediately addressed to the intellect in the form of argument.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Mo·ti·vo n.  See Motive, n., 3, 4.