Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)
result(s) from the 1913
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.]
2. That which incites to action; anything prompting or exciting to choise, or moving the will; cause; reason; inducement; object.
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.
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. -- 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.
Mo"tive, a. Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move; as, a motive argument; motive power. Motive faculty."
Motive power (Mach.), a natural agent, as water, steam, wind, electricity, etc., used to impart motion to machinery; a motor; a mover.
Mo"tive (?), v. t. To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move.