Motive or motif may refer to:

In a creative work:

  • Motif (music), a perceivable or salient recurring fragment or succession of notes
  • Motif (narrative), any recurring element in a story that has symbolic significance
  • Motif (visual arts), a recurrent theme or pattern
  • Motif (textile arts), a recurring element or fragment that, when joined together, creates a larger work
  • Motif (chess composition), an element of a move in the consideration of why the piece moves and how it supports the fulfillment of the problem stipulation

In mathematics:

In biochemistry:

  • Sequence motif, a sequence pattern of nucleotides in a DNA sequence or amino acids in a protein
  • Structural motif, a pattern in a protein structure formed by the spatial arrangement of amino acids
  • A repeating pattern of elements in a crystal structure

Relating to intent:

In music:


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