Legal Definition and Related Resources of Motive

Meaning of Motive

That which leads or tempts mind to indulge in a particular act; an idea, belief or emotion that impels or incites one to act in accordance with a state of mind or emotion. A cause or reason that moves will and induces action . See State v Johnson, 72 So. 370,139 La. 829.

Synonyms of Motive


  • aim
  • causa
  • causation
  • compulsion
  • consideration
  • design
  • determination
  • driving force
  • encouragement
  • end
  • goal
  • impelling power
  • impulse
  • incentive
  • inducement
  • influence
  • inner drive
  • inspiration
  • moving cause
  • moving power
  • moving spirit
  • object
  • objective
  • personal reasons
  • persuasion
  • plan
  • point
  • proposal
  • prospect
  • provocation
  • purpose
  • ratio
  • rationale
  • reason
  • reason for action
  • stimulant
  • stimulation
  • stimulus Associated Concepts: corrupt motive
  • intent

Related Entries of Motive in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Motive in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Motive in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Motive in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Motive in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Absolute Privilege, Champerty, Collateral Matter, Corrupt, Deter, Dying Declaration, Eleemosynary, Ethical, Malfeasance, Malice, Misbehavior, Trailer.

Motive in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of motive.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading



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