Incentive vs Motive - What's the difference?

incentive | motive |


As nouns the difference between incentive and motive

is that incentive is something that motivates, rouses, or encourages while motive is an incentive to act; a reason for doing something; anything that prompted a choice of action.

As adjectives the difference between incentive and motive

is that incentive is inciting; encouraging or moving; rousing to action; stimulating while motive is causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power.

As a verb motive is

to prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?

incentive

Noun

(en noun)
  • Something that motivates, rouses, or encourages.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-07, author=David Simpson
  • , volume=188, issue=26, page=36, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Fantasy of navigation , passage=It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: perhaps out of a desire to escape the gravity of this world or to get a preview of the next; […].}}
  • A bonus or reward, often monetary, to work harder.
  • Antonyms

    * disincentive

    Derived terms

    * incentivise/incentivize, tax incentive

    Adjective

    (en adjective)
  • Inciting; encouraging or moving; rousing to action; stimulating.
  • * Dr. H. More
  • Competency is the most incentive to industry.
  • Serving to kindle or set on fire.
  • * Milton
  • Part incentive reed / Provide, pernicious with one touch of fire.

    motive

    English

    Noun

    (en noun)
  • (obsolete) An idea or communication that makes one want to act, especially from spiritual sources; a divine prompting.
  • *, III.2.1.ii:
  • *:there's something in a woman beyond all human delight; a magnetic virtue, a charming quality, an occult and powerful motive .
  • An incentive to act in a particular way; a reason or emotion that makes one want to do something; anything that prompts a choice of action.
  • * 1947 , (Malcolm Lowry), Under the Volcano :
  • Many of them at first seemed kind to him, but it turned out their motives were not entirely altruistic.
  • (obsolete, rare) A limb or other bodily organ that can move.
  • (Shakespeare)
  • (legal) Something which causes someone to want to commit a crime; a reason for criminal behaviour.
  • What would his motive be for burning down the cottage?
    No-one could understand why she had hidden the shovel; her motives were obscure at best.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1931, author=
  • , chapter=10/6, title= Death Walks in Eastrepps , passage=“Why should Eldridge commit murder?
  • (architecture, fine arts) A motif.
  • (music) A motif; a theme or subject, especially one that is central to the work or often repeated.
  • If you listen carefully, you can hear the flutes mimicking the cello motive .

    Synonyms

    * (incentive ) motivation * (creative works ) motif

    Verb

  • To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move.
  • Synonyms

    * motivate

    Adjective

    (-)
  • Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power.
  • * 1658 , Sir Thomas Browne, The Garden of Cyrus , Folio Society 2007, p. 195:
  • In the motive parts of animals may be discovered mutuall proportions; not only in those of Quadrupeds, but in the thigh-bone, legge, foot-bone, and claws of Birds.
  • Relating to motion and/or to its cause
  • Synonyms

    * moving * (relating to motion) motional

    Anagrams

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