verb (used with object), mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing.
- to provide with a motive, or a cause or reason to act; incite; impel.
- (tr) to give incentive to
1976; see de- + motivate. Related: Demotivated; demotivating.
1863, “to stimulate toward action,” from motive + -ate (2); perhaps modeled on French motiver or German motivieren. Related: Motivated; motivating.