Definitions (2)

1.Law: Inducement, reason, or willful desire (purpose) behind the commission of an offense. Whether good (such as helping a patient suffering from unbearable chronic pain to commit suicide) or bad (such as to commit murder) it is normally not a deciding factor in determination of guilt or innocence (but 'intent' is). However, it may be relevant in a libel case, or may be invoked by a defending attorney in mitigation of punishment or by a prosecuting attorney as circumstantial evidence to prove guilt.
2.Psychology: Concern, desire, emotion, or need that energizes people to action and determines their choice of behavior.

Use motive in a sentence

  • Bob wondered what Bill's motive was for taking his car out to a party the other day without his permission.

    11 people found this helpful
  • When you want to start a new business the motive will be to make the most profit so you must have a good plan.

    6 people found this helpful
  • The local Police Department has spent countless hours trying to determine the motive behind recent drive by shootings in our area.

    9 people found this helpful
Show more usage examples...

Related Videos

Mentioned in these terms

Have a question about motive? Ask for help in the
Browse by Letter: # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z