Motif vs. Motive

Motif vs. Motive — Is There a Difference?

Difference Between Motif and Motive

Motifnoun

A recurrent thematic element in an artistic or literary work.

Motivenoun

An emotion, desire, physiological need, or similar impulse that acts as an incitement to action.

Motifnoun

A dominant theme or central idea.

Motivenoun

(mōtĭv, mō-tēv) A motif in art, literature, or music.

Motifnoun

(Music) A short rhythmic or melodic passage that is repeated or evoked in various parts of a composition.

Motiveadjective

Causing or able to cause motion

motive power.

Motifnoun

A repeated figure or design in architecture or decoration.

Motiveadjective

Causing an action

motive pleas.

Motifnoun

A recurrent pattern either of molecular sequence, usually of nucleotides or amino acids in proteins, or of molecular structure that usually corresponds to specific biological activity.

Motivenoun

(obsolete) An idea or communication that makes one want to act, especially from spiritual sources; a divine prompting.

Motifnoun

A recurring or dominant element; a theme.

See how the artist repeats the scroll motif throughout the work?

Motivenoun

An incentive to act in a particular way; a reason or emotion that makes one want to do something; anything that prompts a choice of action.

Motifnoun

(music) A short melodic passage that is repeated in several parts of a work.

Motivenoun

A limb or other bodily organ that can move.

Motifnoun

A decorative figure that is repeated in a design or pattern.

Motivenoun

(legal) Something which causes someone to want to commit a crime; a reason for criminal behaviour.

What would his motive be for burning down the cottage?No-one could understand why she had hidden the shovel; her motives were obscure at best.

Motifnoun

(dressmaking) A decorative appliqué design or figure, as of lace or velvet, used in trimming.

Motivenoun

A motif.

Motifnoun

(crystallography) The physical object or objects repeated at each point of a lattice. Usually atoms or molecules.

Motivenoun

(music) A motif; a theme or subject, especially one that is central to the work or often repeated.

If you listen carefully, you can hear the flutes mimicking the cello motive.

Motifnoun

(chess) A basic element of a move in terms of why the piece moves and how it supports the fulfilment of a stipulation.

Motiveverb

(transitive) To prompt or incite by a motive or motives; to move.

Motifnoun

(biochemistry) In a nucleotide or amino-acid sequence, pattern that is widespread and has, or is conjectured to have, a biological significance.

Motiveadjective

Causing motion; having power to move, or tending to move

a motive argumentmotive power

Motifnoun

a design that consists of recurring shapes or colors

Motiveadjective

Relating to motion and/or to its cause

Motifnoun

a theme that is elaborated on in a piece of music

Motivenoun

the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior;

we did not understand his motivationhe acted with the best of motives

Motifnoun

a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work;

it was the usual `boy gets girl' theme

Motivenoun

a theme that is elaborated on in a piece of music

Motiveadjective

causing or able to cause motion;

a motive forcemotive powermotor energy

Motiveadjective

impelling to action;

it may well be that ethical language has primarily a motivative functionmotive pleasmotivating arguments