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.] Shak.
2. That which incites to action; anything
prompting or exciting to choise, or moving the will; cause; reason;
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. J.
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." Bp.
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.