motive noun

ADJ. hidden, ulterior | clear, good, strong There seemed to be no clear motive for the attack. I'd say he had a very strong motive for wanting her dead. | high, pure He was acting from the highest motives when he offered her money. | base, selfish | prime | real | underlying She was not sure what his underlying motives were. | mixed We give aid to other countries with mixed motives. | financial, political, racial

VERB + MOTIVE be inspired by, have She knew that he was inspired by base motives. | establish, find, suggest The police are still trying to establish a motive for the attack. | be suspicious of, examine, question He was suspicious of her motives in inviting him into the house. She should examine her motives for marrying him. | explain However you explain the motives behind his actions, he was still wrong. | understand

PREP. ~ in What was their motive in setting fire to the building? | ~ behind There is no doubt about the motive behind it all. | ~ for There may be a hidden motive for his departure. | ~ of acting from motives of revenge