Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

motivate

verb
     
mo‧ti‧vate [transitive]
1 to be the reason why someone does something [= drive]:
Was he motivated solely by a desire for power?
motivate somebody to do something
We may never know what motivated him to kill his wife.
2 to make someone want to achieve something and make them willing to work hard in order to do this:
A good teacher has to be able to motivate her students.
motivate somebody to do something
The profit-sharing plan is designed to motivate the staff to work hard.

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