incentive Definition

  • 1something that encourages or motivates someone to do something
  • 2a payment or concession to stimulate greater output or investment

Using incentive: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "incentive" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The company offered a bonus as an incentive for employees to work harder.

  • Example

    Tax incentives are often used to encourage investment in certain areas.

  • Example

    The promise of a promotion was a strong incentive for her to improve her performance.

incentive Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with incentive

  • a monetary reward or compensation given to motivate someone to do something


    The government provides financial incentives to companies that invest in renewable energy.

  • carrot and stick

    a policy of offering a combination of rewards and punishment to induce behavior


    The teacher used a carrot and stick approach to motivate her students to study harder.

  • a structured plan designed to motivate and reward employees for achieving specific goals


    The company implemented an incentive program to increase sales and productivity.

Origins of incentive

from Latin 'incentivum', meaning 'something that sets the tune'


Summary: incentive in Brief

An 'incentive' [ɪnˈsɛntɪv] is something that motivates or encourages someone to do something, often in the form of a payment or reward. Examples include bonuses, tax incentives, and promotions. Phrases like 'financial incentive' and 'incentive program' denote specific applications of the term. The idiom 'carrot and stick' refers to a policy of using both rewards and punishments to induce behavior.

How do native speakers use this expression?