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Related to ulterior: Ulterior 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. © 2015 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: ulterior
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
References in classic literature ?
However, he finally persuaded Usanga to bide his time for a few more days of instruction, but in the suspicious mind of the Negro there was a growing conviction that the white man's advice was prompted by some ulterior motive; that it was in the hope of escaping with the machine himself by night that he refused to admit that Usanga was entirely capable of handling it alone and therefore in no further need of help or instruction, and so in the mind of the black there formed a determination to outwit the white man.
Either he had spoken in brutal mockery--or he had spoken with some ulterior object in view.
There are moments when the inner life actually "pays," when years of self-scrutiny, conducted for no ulterior motive, are suddenly of practical use.
But, he was particular in stipulating that if I were not received with cordiality, or if I were not encouraged to repeat my visit as a visit which had no ulterior object but was simply one of gratitude for a favour received, then this experimental trip should have no successor.
The spirit of our American radicalism is destructive and aimless: it is not loving; it has no ulterior and divine ends, but is destructive only out of hatred and selfishness.
There was no telling when the god's ulterior motive might be disclosed.
Her astonishing quickness of perception, detected a change in my voice, or my manner, when I put that question, which warned her that I had been speaking all along with some ulterior object in view.
You see, prince, for once in my life I wish to perform an absolutely honest action, that is, an action with no ulterior motive; and I think I am hardly in a condition to talk of it just at this moment, and--and--well, we'll discuss it another time.
Secondly, my conscience is perfectly easy; I make the offer with no ulterior motive.
I'd like to suggest that there may be an ulterior motive.
He called for unity among PKR members and said he would not allow anyone with ulterior motive to diminish the party.
The petition sought direction to constitute a SIT or direct the Centre to investigate the abuse of powers by some public servants of "CBI for having committed an offence of illegally intercepting phone calls of individuals without following due process of law and by abusing and misusing powers by a public servant for their ulterior motives."
On June 18, the IHC, in its detailed judgement on the PPP co-chairperson's bail plea, stated that NAB had no ulterior motive to arrest the former president.
In a tweet, she said that a certain group was spreading this audio on social media to achieve their ulterior motives.
ISLAMABAD -- The Islamabad High Court (IHC), in its detailed judgement of PPP co-chairperson's bail plea dismissal, stated no ulterior motive can be attributed to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for the arrest.