ulterior motive


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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 periodicals archive ?
I would not allow anybody with ulterior motive to destroy this unity,' he said.
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.
It looks like he might have an ulterior motive. Is Michelle set for more heartbreak?"
This just proves the ulterior motive the council had when they destroyed a healthy 80-year-old tree (for starters).
The employers' ulterior motive is of course quite obvious: to reduce their monthly SSS premium cost exposure.
He was not standing for parliament and had no ulterior motive. Michael Gove will never have heard of him, but he has heard of other non-Conservative people who have supported the campaign over the years.
Hmm, there couldn't be an ulterior motive behind this grotesque spending spree on top Welsh talent, could there?
According to Rizaov, the ulterior motive of the allegedly new condition in the European Commission's report on Macedonia is a new stronger pressure to solve the country's name imposed by neighboring Greece.
EVERYTHING letter writer Ted Prest says is right on, there is an ulterior motive to run down the airport so they can sell off the land for housing/turn it into a freight cargo airport only, that means flights morning noon and night.
Comic Relief's Big Chat with Graham Norton (BBC Three, Thursday, 7pm) | WE all know Graham Norton loves a good chat, but this time around he has an ulterior motive; he's attempting to break the Guinness world record for the number of questions asked during a TV show.
Last season Myles started spending a lot more time with Gerry Supple at the local points and just when we thought he was getting properly enthused by the sport it became clear he had an ulterior motive - he was trying to spend more time with Emma Buck, sister of Gerry's longtime partner, successful pointto-point rider Jo Buck!
Patricia Clarkson (above) is on good form as the headmistress who might have an ulterior motive for taking on a new pupil, and fans of the genre will always be pleased to see cult hero Bruce Campbell.
Dear Editor, Speaking as an outsider with no ulterior motive, why would anyone who is any good want to manage Villa?
The FIR also states: "He proposed to include civilians as members in the Society with an ulterior motive to make his relatives members.
While I appreciate the society spent a lot of money upgrading recently I wonder if perhaps there was an ulterior motive.