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base motive

Motivation for some action or actions that is guided by selfishness or moral depravity. It is clear now that his decision to marry into her wealthy family was led purely by base motives. I don't believe the defendant had any base motives in this case. I think she was well-intentioned but naïve about the repercussions of her actions.
See also: base, motive

ulterior motive

cliché A clandestine purpose for one's actions, often hidden behind a façade of generosity or magnanimity. At first we thought she genuinely wanted to help our organization's agenda, but it soon became clear that she had some ulterior motive for digging up information on the other company's CEO. A: "You want to spend your whole weekend helping me move out of my apartment? What's the catch?" B: "What, can't I just want to help out my baby brother? You act as if I've got an ulterior motive or something!"
See also: motive, ulterior
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

ulterior motive, an

A hidden purpose, a secret reason for saying or doing something. The adjective ulterior originally meant “beyond” or “more distant,” a usage taken from the Latin and dating from the mid-1600s. Less than a century later it began to be used more specifically to mean “beyond what is said or evident.” It then was combined with several nouns—ulterior intentions, ulterior designs, ulterior purpose. Its frequent combination with motive is more recent.
See also: an, ulterior
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"The robber had another motive for returning to hide under the bed," continued the astonishing boy-journalist.
"There shall be no money motive," I said, "no idea of personal advantage in the service I mean to render to Lady Glyde.
Whatever the Count may have done, Sir Percival has consented to the conspiracy against Laura from another motive besides the motive of gain.
motives if the discrimination were because of age or disability rather
Is there any order here at all, or is the law of mixed motives as
In part, the varied treatment of motives, from one legal question
Our motives jurisprudence therefore springs from the minds of judges,
One of the most widely used questionnaires to assess cannabis smoking motives is the Marijuana Motives Measure (MMM; Simons et al., 1998).
Very few prospective studies about marijuana motives and related outcomes have been conducted.
The general aim of the present research was to develop a short version of the MMM that may facilitate the inclusion of cannabis-smoking motives in surveys, or in prevention or treatment programs, for which administration time and space are limited (Kuntsche & Kuntsche, 2009).
However, as in previous studies about motives, we analyzed only the data of those who had tried marijuana at least once in their life.
Eduardo Acierto linking a presidential adviser to drugs, the senator also described Acierto's motives as 'suspect.'
'What is the motive?' Lacson asked on Thursday at the Kapihan sa Senado forum where Acierto's report linking former presidential adviser Michael Yang and Allan Lim to the drug trade was discussed.
'What is his motive in coming out and accusing [President Duterte] with a document that he had already shown several officials?' asked Lacson, a former national police chief.
Whatever his motive, Lacson said authorities should start a probe or voters would think the charges were ignored.