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ulterior motive

This page is about the collocation ulterior motive

collocation pattern: adjective + noun

Meaning

the hidden reason or purpose behind an action

For example

  • He'd never helped his grandma before, so we assumed he had an ulterior motive.

  • It became clear that his ulterior motive was to be included in her will.

Quick Quiz

If someone has an ulterior motive, they'll try to

a. explain their motive

b. hide their motive

c. hide themselves

Contributor: Matt Errey