From Medieval Latin incentivus (“that strikes up or sets the tune”), from incinere (“to strike up”), from in (“in, on”) + canere (“to sing”). The formation appears to have been influenced by incendere ' to set on fire'.
incentive (plural incentives)
- Something that motivates, rouses, or encourages.
- 2013 June 7, David Simpson, “Fantasy of navigation”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 36:
- It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: perhaps out of a desire to escape the gravity of this world or to get a preview of the next; […].
- I have no incentive to do housework right now.
- A bonus or reward, often monetary, to work harder.
- Management offered the sales team a $500 incentive for each car sold.
- Inciting; encouraging or moving; rousing to action; stimulating.
- Serving to kindle or set on fire.
- incentive in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- incentive in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- first-person singular present subjunctive of
- third-person singular present subjunctive of
- first-person singular imperative of
- third-person singular imperative of